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Open Access
Publication date: 29 November 2022

Jorge Alberto Marino-Romero, Pedro R. Palos-Sanchez and Félix Velicia-Martin

The aim of this research is to analyze the success of digital transformation (DT) in the management and performance of organizations. To do so, the role of IT and its ability to…




The aim of this research is to analyze the success of digital transformation (DT) in the management and performance of organizations. To do so, the role of IT and its ability to integrate in organizations that provide professional services with high added value for their clients are investigated. These services require highly developed skills as they solve complex problems for the clients and this means that success depends on gathering knowledge from different sources (customers, public administrations and competitors). This study analyses the decisive and complementary role of IT in this process.


The analysis combines quantitative and qualitative methods. After questioning managers of Spanish KIBS companies about certain components of DT, the gathered data are subsequently processed with PLS-SEM to establish causal relationships.


The results show that digital capability is the determinant of DT. It has a positive effect on the digital resources integrated in KIBS companies and on their organizational performances.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should continue to analyze other components of TD that drive the organizational performance of KIBS firms, such as technological culture or government policies that encourage digital transactions. The present study analyzes data from companies that are part of a single economic sector in Spain which may limit the conclusions drawn. It would be particularly useful to confirm the applicability of the results in companies operating in different markets to explore the direct relationship between digital capability and organizational performance.

Practical implications

This research has implications for managers of KIBS companies, as it shows the high potential of the ability of IT to implement and manage a TD process. Managers can benefit from IT management practices using the appropriate tools (ERP, CRM and management software) to gain more knowledge of customer behavior with the possibility of easily codifying and analyzing the data, which significantly influences innovation activities. The objective is to develop a strong internal capability to absorb knowledge from day-to-day interactions with customers by using IT effectively. This process leads to an improvement in the organizational performance of KIBS companies, as they become more effective in decision making with improved internal communication, generate greater employee satisfaction and reach new customers. Following strategies aimed at the implementation and use of the technological resources studied creates more agile firms and helps to close the production gap between SMEs and large companies.

Social implications

The results obtained can help create sustainable businesses through cloud-based technology tools. It can provide insights for policy makers to implement economic policies that help SMEs to become more competitive and sustainable.


The development of digital technologies and the ability to manage them is one of the decisive factors that conceptualizes DT and improves organizational performance. This research contributes to the understanding of the need for managers of KIBS companies to follow strategies oriented towards the digitization of their organizations and for the collaborators to have a high level of IT training, especially in the use of cloud technology.


Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225


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