Degree course: 
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Optional subjects
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (40 hours)


Final Examination: 

The exam takes place in written form and it is based on the topics discussed in class and dealt with in reference materials.

Students evaluation is calculated averaging an assignment defined with the course instructor and a written exam on a business case analysis.

Assignment: 40% of general evaluation based on a document in the form of a business case. It should be an analysis of a digital economy business case in form of a PowerPoint file, a Word document or a PDF file.
The assignment goal is to test your ability to understand and elaborate on the concepts and model about the digital economy presented during the course. It should be an original idea or could be an existing company, but in this latter case the topic should be discussed with the teacher. No limit of pages.

Written exam: 60% of general evaluation based on the analysis of a business cases using concepts and tools used during the course. The exam is open books (students can use notes and articles that form the course program).

Both grades must be equal or above 18/30.

Voto Finale

The course’s purpose is to make students understand the fundamentals of digital economy from business analysis to strategy implementation.

The course provides a series of concepts and frameworks which students can directly apply to strategic problems they may encounter. Throughout the course, there will be a heavy emphasis on going from concepts and market analysis to the formulation of concrete strategies. The types of firms range from pre-revenue start-ups to medium sized companies up to large multinationals.

At the end of the course students have to prove they have learned the main dynamics of digital economy, the principles of digital transformation, network effects, multisided markets, platform business.

Besides, they should be able to apply the main models to analyze digital economy (business model canvas, Blue Ocean strategies, network effects analysis, platform analysis, profit pools) have learned the models to analyze digital economy and to use in real industries and business cases.

The course aims to illustrate the role of digital economy in the current competitive landscape.


1. Digital economy scenario (4 h)
• The evolution of Internet and the mobile industry
• The diffusion of social networks
• Main tech trends: chatbot, augmented and immersive reality, artificial intelligence, big data

2. How to analyze and select innovative projects (4 h)
• The business model canvas and its application
• The business model canvas in a startup
• The business model canvas in existing business
• The Blue Ocean strategies and how to find spaces for innovation
• The Value pools analysis and how to look for profitable niches to exploit

3. Analyze the consequences and dynamics of network effects (6h)
• The network effects and the main cases in which they apply
• Strategies in industries with network economies
• Exponential business: how to identify them and their consequences
• Multisided markets and strategies to deal with
• Business platforms and how to analyze them with respect to business pipelines

4. Digital transformation and its consequences (6h)
• The structure of digital transformation
• How smart and connected products are transforming the competition
• How intelligent and connected products are transforming companies
• How to define a strategy for digital transformation

5. Application of course concepts: the case of the Fintech and Insuretech industries (4 h)
• Fintech and how digital transformation is transforming the financial sector
• P2P lending and its evolution
• The evolution of the payment instruments
• The Insuretech industry and how digital transformation is transforming the insurance industry

6. Application of course concepts: the case of the Italian digital agenda & Industry 4.0 and the business models for future mobility (4h)
• The evolution of the Italian Digital Agenda
• The pillars of the Italian Digital Agenda
• Car sharing and new business models for mobility
• The future of automotive and the electric vehicle

7. Application of course concepts: the case of search engines and comparison engines (4h)
• Types of search engines
• Comparison engines and their business models
• The price comparison engine and their business models

8. Application of course concepts: other cases analyzed in detail chosen with the students attending the course (8h)

- Shane, Scott. 2014. Technology strategy for managers and entrepreneurs. Pearson. Ch. 14 “Strategy in Networked Industries”.

- Eisenmann, Thomas, Geoffrey Parker, e Marshall W. Van Alstyne. 2006. «Strategies for Two-Sided Markets». Harvard Business Review 84 (10).

- Alstyne, Marshall W. van, Geoffrey G. Parker, e Paul Sangeet Choudary. 2016. «Pipelines, Platforms, and the New Rules of Strategy». Harvard Business Review 94 (4).

- Porter, Michael E., e James E. Heppelmann. 2014. «How Smart, Connected Products Are Transforming Competition». Harvard Business Review 92 (11). Harvard Business School Publication Corp.: 64–88.

- Porter, Michael E., e James E. Heppelmann. 2015. «How Smart, Connected Products Are Transforming Companies». Harvard Business Review 93 (10). Harvard Business School Publication Corp.: 16–96.

- Kane, Gerald C., Doug Palmer, Anh Philips Nguyen, David Kiron e Natasha Buckley. Strategy, Not Technology, Drives Digital Transformation. «MIT Sloan Management Review» (2015).

- Gadiesh, Orit, e James L. Gilbert. 1998. «How to map your industry’s profit pool». Harvard Business Review 76 (3). Harvard Business School Publication Corp.: 149–62.

- Cases and slides distributed and commented during lessons will be available to students on course’s elearning


Lectures, case discussions, seminars, home assignments.

The instructor will be available at the end of each class as well as in office hours that will be communicated at the beginning of the course and will be indicated on the e-learning space and instructors’ personal pages.