Examining business models for emerging technology-based services

Abstract
The paper examines business models for emerging technology-based services. Although the concept of business model is an essential term in business and the existing literature offers various definitions of it, there is still much confusion around the term. Hence, the aim is to develop some common ground for defining and developing business models by identifying some general elements of a business model in the field of technology-based services. As
single companies often cannot govern all the relevant resources and activities needed in producing and commercializing such services, a network of actors is needed. Thus, the concept also needs to be further developed from a network perspective. As a result, the paper presents a framework describing the elements of a net business model that need to be considered in a business model in order to describe the production and commercialization of
technology-based services in business nets. The research project is in progress, and the framework will be further developed in the future based on existing theory, as well as according to further empirical study.

Keywords: Business model, strategic business net, technology-based service, Delphi method

Introduction

Emerging technologies across different fields have multiple effects on business, firms, markets and marketing (Srinivasan, 2008). Radical technological developments can be characterized by nonlinear and unpredictable change, which bring many challenges to firms commercializing breakthrough innovations while there is no clear market structure with identifiable actors (Möller & Svahn, 2009).

As new technology is changing the business environment, there is a need to find new innovative business models. Technology is taken to the markets by firms through a venture shaped by a specific business model, and in many
cases managers need to expand their perspectives and find the right business models in order to capture value from that specific technology (Chesbrough & Rosenbloom, 2002).

Although the concept of business model is increasingly discussed both in the academia and everyday language, there is still confusion around the concept in terms of how it can be defined and used. Various definitions of the concept exist, but none appears to be generally accepted. This may be due to the fact that the concept draws from as well as integrates a range of disciplines (Chesbrough & Rosenbloom, 2002; Shafer, Smith & Linder, 2005).

However, before managers can apply the concept properly, they need a simple working definition of the concept that clears up the fuzziness around the term (Magretta, 2002).

Hence, this study focuses on developing some common ground for defining and developing business models. The paper acknowledges that the concept is in many cases context-specific, and hence examines it in the specific field of emerging technology-based services. More specifically the focus is on ubiquitous services which commonly combine the advances of information and networking technologies (Shin & Lee, 2005) as well as mobile and pervasive
computing (Lyytinen & Yoo, 2002).

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