Developing a decision support system for business model design

Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to Harry Bouwman.

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Daas, D., Hurkmans, T., Overbeek, S. et al. Developing a decision support system for business model design. Electron Markets 23, 251–265 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12525-012-0115-1

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Keywords

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