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Digital transformation specialists urgently needed!

September 8, 2023

The Bachelor’s program in Digital Business is particularly suitable as a program for working professionals in order to become specialists with a semi-tech education. These are urgently needed as experts for the digital transformation. This makes our graduates – even without prior IT knowledge – sought-after specialists.

by Sebastian Eschenbach

To be able to carry out a digital transformation in a company, you don’t only need a department with the appropriate IT experts. All the departments it affects have to work together. This is also the reason why these projects often fail. This is not because of the technology, but mostly because of the communication.

And that’s exactly why we need the digital business experts who can translate what the individual departments do and require to the IT supplier or the company’s own IT department so that they can develop or adapt IT systems accordingly. And in between, there are a number of other entities involved, with whom there also needs to be clear communication.

The students on this course – the proportion of women in the individual classes is currently around 45 percent – come from a wide range of industries and with a wide range of previous knowledge. What unites them is an enthusiasm for digital transformation and, not least, an ambition to advance in their careers. In any case, you graduate with a solid know-how in digital transformation.

The great demand for digital transformation experts

The guideline and question we ask ourselves in the Department of Digital Economy at FHWien der WKW is: How do established small and medium-sized enterprises in Austria get through the digital transformation? We are not targeting start-ups, but predominantly those SMEs that are perhaps in the second, third generation, that already have a well-established, non-digital business.

Universities of applied sciences base their training programs – and this is also stipulated by law – on the real needs of the economy. This means that actual, concrete professions or the demand for them are taken as a basis.

In our case, it’s not about training hardcore technicians, but “digital business” experts who are both technically and economically high-level. This is because they represent the “translators” between the technical and business departments of a company.

The often cited “shortage of specialists with technology skills” does not only refer to hardcore computer scientists, but also to mediators. With our Bachelor’s program in Digital Business, we generate precisely these experts with a semi-tech education who previously had no know-how in this area.

In harmony with the research

The Institute for Digital Transformation and Strategy (IDS) at FHWien der WKW, founded in 2021, is concerned with

  • Applied research,
  • Develoment and
  • Innovation in the following two specific fields of work:
    • Use of digital technology with current focus on “Internet-of-Things” solutions in the context of logistics.
    • Strategic management in the context of digital transformation with current focus: “Opportunities for established small and medium-sized enterprises”.

At the heart of a university, competence is developed through scientific work. This applies to students as well as to our scientific staff. Therefore, we set challenging goals and make results visible.

The on average ten staff members of our institute carry out (in different degrees) research and also teaching activities. This research at the University of Applied Sciences is therefore not purely an end in itself, but serves to continuously make education better!

This also fits perfectly with the motto of FHWien “Study real business!” – because everything we teach and learn in these courses can be directly applied in research and vice versa: the people who work in research bring their knowledge, their cases, into the course.

Information about the course & the author

All information about the Digital Business study program can be found online on our website.

Sebastian Eschenbach is head of the Digital Economy Department at FHWien der WKW, which offers the part-time Bachelor’s program in Digital Business.

Sebastian Eschenbach is also co-author of the study “Fit for the Future? How companies can master the digital transformation”, which was presented by the Institute for Digital Transformation & Strategy (IDS) of FHWien der WKW at the beginning of June.