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5.6.2 Economic Concept of the Business Model in the Digital Age

The concept of the business model in the digital age—as an extension of the classic model—can best be described by means of the Canvas Model. It supplements the classic concept with components relevant to the digital age. These include cooperation partners in the network, and channel management (Osterwalder et al. 2011). In principle it consists of nine components, against which a business model can be compared and a foundation can be laid for optimisation and survival. The components are (Fig. 5.6):

1. Customer segments: these are customer groups that the company wishes to reach and serve. Only profitable customers can secure long-term survival.

2. Value offer: this defines the service offered to customers that will provide the best possible solution to their needs. It is all the customer is willing to pay for.

3. Channels: this describes how the customer segments are addressed and how the

value offer is made to them.

4. Customer relationships: this defines the type and intensity of the customer relationship.

5. Sources of income: how much are customers willing to pay for which services?

6. Key resources: this defines those resources that are imperative for the company and its “success”. These could be persons, machines or methods, which expand or change the value offer well beyond that of the competitor.

7. Key activities: these are the most important activities that a company must execute in order to be successful. They differ from business model to business model and, like the key resources, shape the value offer of every single company.

8. Key partnerships: this is more than just the surrounding network of suppliers and partners. These are the decisive contacts that allow a transfer of knowledge and thus help to orient business models successfully towards dynamic customer needs.

9. Cost structure: here, all costs incurred by the business model are analysed. This makes the cost structures clearer and allows the detection of hidden costs.

 
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