MaastrichtMBA to launch new Digital Business Focus

If you haven’t heard it before, you’re hearing it now. Data is hot. Everyone in just about every field of study is saying it. But what does that really mean? And what should we do with it?

We have been digitising information for at least the past seventy-five years. Recently, however, the process has started to come into full maturity: Every imaginable form of information can be, or has already been, digitised. What’s more, we can access any information from anywhere in the world – in many cases, right on our mobile phones.

Prof. Dr. Rudolf Müller is professor of Quantitative Infonomics – studying the production and consumption of information and the transfer of money to produce, sell or obtain it – at Maastricht University. Dr Müller is most interested in how digitisation and algorithms can be used in business settings. His own study involved the design of interaction mechanisms of digital platforms, such as auctions. He is combining techniques from game theory, economic theory, behavioural economics, and business administration. As he sees it…

“We are now creating a digital twin of our entire world. Everything is connected.”

This creates enormous opportunities for business, but it also changes the rules of doing business. It created major digital companies like Google and Amazon, but is affecting any other organization. Small businesses will have to adapt as well. As result, a wide variety of new business models are appearing.

 

Not (only) for computer people

As an MBA subject, the Digital Business focus will examine the impact that digitisation is having on organisations – internally and externally – in terms of our relationships with customers, suppliers, markets, media, legislation, and society in general. The course aims to guide students as they deal with these opportunities and challenges. It is designed to apply to any students who feel an affinity with digitisation. They may be people working with information technology or anyone developing strategies for their companies.

“I hope to create an interactive environment between people who feel at home in IT and those who have a strong sense of business strategy.”

All the core functions of business – finance, operations, procurement, marketing – are changing. In the future, these processes won’t just use IT as an enabler. Instead, IT will lie at the very core of the business. As a result, this course should attract practically anyone involved in business, not just people who like computer science.

“All you really need is curiosity about big data. You need to be interested in the process of translating data into value for the business. Maastricht University is in a unique position to provide added value to the Digital Business focus of the MaastrichtMBA.

 

Why Maastricht?

Maastricht University has always focused on creating dialogue within the classroom. SBE does this by working on a small scale, by keeping the subject matter interdisciplinary, and by keeping everything extremely personal. Students aren’t here just to learn facts. This is especially important for subject matter like this.

“At Maastricht University, we have enormous expertise when it comes to understanding how to apply data and analytics to gain new insights and develop new opportunities for business. We understand the legal and ethical aspects of Digital Business – about how to use new technology meaningfully, sustainably and responsibly.”

 

New ways of thinking

Classically, IT was used to make business operations more efficient or to improve logistics – to overcome physical limitations. Now – particularly with the advent of Artificial Intelligence – IT is addressing the very way we think about things, the way we make decisions, how we communicate and exchange information.

“The new digital world is interacting with our brains, not our bodies. If that’s the case, we need to better understand how our minds work. So we’re going to need knowledge from the humanities and social sciences to design the digital world in line with ethical norms. societal preferences and legal requirements. So, two distinct worlds will come to rely on each other. This is what Maastricht University does especially well.”

 

The course

The Digital Business focus will comprise Digital Management – creating more effective and efficient organisations – and Digital Strategy – extending portfolios, reaching new markets, enhancing products by using algorithms to create added value for customers. Dr Müller’s teaching will focus on digital business models.

This coursework should help people to become architects in the digital world, not engineers. This is not about technology. It’s about the digital structures the world needs and how to design them.

“If you have an engineer build your house, well, you’ll probably get a house that functions well enough. Ultimately, though, it may not serve all your needs. If you go to an architect to do the same job, you can talk about how you like to live. An architect will ask you about the experience you want and then translate that into a real infrastructure.”

Students may register in September 2019 and classes will begin in February 2020. Visit our our Digital Business page to learn more about the focus programme.