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Digital Business Models

Building the Next-Generation Enterprise

Digital transformation is not about technology—it’s about change. And it is not whether that change will come, but a question of when and how. In the new digital economy, many enterprises won’t succeed by merely tweaking the management practices that led to past success. To thrive in a digitized universe, businesses of all sizes will need to reinvent themselves and substantially change their organizations.
Yet leaders often lack a common language to assess the degree of threat that digital disruption poses to their business, and—more importantly—the language to create a compelling vision for their enterprise’s success.

In this research, Weill and Woerner identify six key questions to inform an enterprise’s
transformation strategy:

  1. What is the digital threat and opportunity?
  2. Which business model is best for your enterprise’s future?
  3. What is your digital competitive advantage?
  4. How will you connect using mobile and IOT?
  5. Do you have the crucial capabilities to reinvent the enterprise?
  6. Do you have the leadership to make the transformation happen?
What’s Your Digital Business Model?:
Six Questions to Help You Build the Next-Generation Enterprise

Drawing on data and stories collected since 2012 from more than a thousand enterprises, this MIT CISR research by Peter Weill and Stephanie Woerner has led to a simple but powerful framework and language to help executives think about their competitive environments in the digital era. The findings have been compiled
in a new book—published by Harvard Business Review Press—that helps leaders clarify the path to higher value via straightforward steps and self-assessments.

Available from Harvard Business Review Press,,
and the MIT Press Bookstore.
VIDEO from What’s Your Digital Business Model?

Digital technologies are changing the business landscape. In a series of videos based on the book,
Peter Weill and Stephanie Woerner answer pressing questions such as:

  • What can you do to protect against threats and to harness opportunities to grow your company profitably?
  • How can digitization enhance your company’s performance and help the company make money?
  • What is your company’s competitive advantage?
  • How can mobile and the Internet of Things enhance your offerings?

Hear examples of companies creating new value in the digital era.


Excerpts from What’s Your Digital Business Model?, read by the authors

Stephanie Woerner and Peter Weill read highlights from the introduction and proceeding chapters in this series of audio excerpts from the book.

The MIT CISR Digital Business Model (DBM) Framework The Digital Business Model framework has two dimensions: moving from controlled value chains to more complex, networked systems; and from less familiarity with customer needs and life events to a better, closer understanding of them. To grasp the potential of digitization, enterprises must create a strong connection with their end customers (moving up), and with other companies and suppliers that they partner with (moving right), to meet more of the customer’s needs.
MIT Sloan Executive Education’s program on Revitalizing Your Digital Business Model

Stephanie Woerner and other MIT CISR faculty teach in an MIT Sloan Executive Education program on digital business models. 2019 sessions will be held April 2–3 and September 24–25. Learn more and register.

Learn how to apply the Digital Business Model framework in your company. For more on this research, review the Related Documents in the right sidebar.