Research Topics



Advanced technologies like Blockchain/Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet-of-Things (IoT) will present us with even greater challenges than we have seen before. They will require organizations in broadening their view and considering cross-organizational effects of digital transformation. The Digital Financial Services and Cross-Organizational Digital Transformations Research Group will address these challenges in various fields of application.

Guiding Principles

  • A holistic and interdisciplinary research approach… 
  • …considering the challenges and opportunities of digital technologies,…
  • …focussing on the long-term success of organizations, and…
  • …taking into account economic, ecological, and social sustainability.


DLT, AI, IoT: Economics and Technology

A common feature of DLT, AI, and Blockchain is their perceived high potential combined with still vague ideas of concrete applications. It is therefore worthwhile to check all three technologies systematically and analytically for their potential in today’s and tomorrow’s economy. The most distinctive feature of, e.g., DLT is that it allows for the bilateral transfer of ownership of a digital good. In the past, the recipient of a good could never be sure that the sender did not keep copies. For digital representations (e.g. bank account) of physical goods (money) a trusted third party (bank) was necessary to ensure that the value (bank transfer) was performed only once. With DLT, we can omit this intermediary – at least in the described role.


Financial Services in the Machine Economy

With an increased ability to act autonomously (AI), a permanent connection to the internet (IoT), and the ability to make decentral trustful “deals” (Blockchain), autonomous machines could economically interact with humans or other machines in the future, creating a (Machine-to-) Machine Economy. This development is not limited to a single industry but is widely discussed, e.g. in the manufacturing industry (industrial robots), the energy sector (smart grid devices), and the mobility sector (autonomous cars). Especially payment processes need to be redesigned for a machine economy. However, the (digital) financial services in a machine economy are not limited to payments: Ideas range from banks being creditors for machines that work to pay off their debt, to machines that directly pay taxes, to self-owned machines that raise capital through ICOs and predict their maintenance through AI. For science, it is important to be aware of these visions, still, do not follow the hype, but to make solid steps into the direction. 


The Sustainable IT Organization

Building a sustainable IT organization is a challenge for basically any company with large IT environments. Especially in the financial services sector, long-grown legacy systems clash with new requirements. One part of these requirements is imposed by customer demand, as today’s customers are accustomed to the seamless user experience from other digital services. Another part comes from increasing regulatory requirements (e.g. from the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2), Basel III / IV) that sometimes need far-reaching adjustments or even a transformation of a company’s whole IT landscape. IT organizations’ current challenges reach from managing the IT organizations mindset, to risk accompanying new technologies, to the systemic risk of touching large but running systems.