Electronic Markets

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 251–265 | Cite as

Developing a decision support system for business model design

  • Dave Daas
  • Toine Hurkmans
  • Sietse Overbeek
  • Harry BouwmanEmail author
General Research


Software vendors increasingly offer web-based services (SaaS) at a subscription fee. Because they need a network of service partners to generate customer value, SaaS providers have to focus on business model (BM) design. In this study, a decision support system (DSS) is developed to help SaaS in this process, based on a design approach consisting of a design process that is guided by various design methods. The outcome of the design process is a computer-based tool that takes important BM evaluation criteria, such as critical design issues and success factors, into account, by integrating market analysis based on conjoint analysis, providing alternative designs for business models involving companies working together in a value network offering e-services, and including a multi-criteria decision analysis, based on AHP, that can be used to select the business model of the core services and identify the implications for the business model of all the actors involved in the network. The DSS is discussed in an illustrative case. The execution of the design process provides insight into how BM design processes can be improved and formalized. The BM decision-making tool illustrates the importance of modularity, i.e. the BM-DSS can be divided into several independent sub-components, while at the same time maintaining its usefulness within an organizational network context.


Business model Design science Decision support system SaaS 
JEL classification D 81 L 84 L 86 M 15 M 31 


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Copyright information

© Institute of Information Management, University of St. Gallen 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dave Daas
    • 1
  • Toine Hurkmans
    • 2
  • Sietse Overbeek
    • 1
  • Harry Bouwman
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Delft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Exact International Development N.VDelftThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Information and Communication Technology, Faculty of Technology, Policy and ManagementDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

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