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Competence for digital transformation at the FHV

Ann-Kristin Cordes has been appointed as endowed professorship for Digital Business Transformation at Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences.

The new endowed professor for Digital Business Transformation at the FHV - Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences is Ann-Kristin Cordes. The proven expert and her team support all Vorarlberg companies on the path to digitalization. The focus of the new research groups at the FH Vorarlberg is on the development of data-driven business models and digital innovations for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Since September, FH Vorarlberg has established a new endowed professorship for Digital Business Transformation and a research group of the same name with financial support from the Höchst hardware manufacturer Blum. The endowed professorship and the leadership of the research group will be taken over by Ann-Kristin Cordes from Germany, a proven international expert in the field of digital transformation. The link to the existing Business Informatics degree programmes at the FHV is close. The research group aims to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region on their digitalization journey. In her doctoral thesis, the business informatics graduate addressed the topic of "Process Analytics of Spare Parts Supply Chains for Condition-Based Maintenance."

"The job posting immediately appealed to me and I am very much looking forward to the new task here in Vorarlberg. In a previous project, I gained extensive experience in how data-driven business models are developed for SMEs from the retail, trade and manufacturing sectors," explains the native of Herford.

Identifying AI solutions
Together with her team of research associates, the foundation professor accompanies projects and events that deal with the use of new technologies in companies, the digitization of business models and the necessary skills of employees in a digital company. "Furthermore, the focus is on questions of how adequate AI solutions can be identified for the respective company," the expert gives an insight.

She also advocates a new understanding of leadership in which all generations communicate at eye level. "Especially among digital natives, unconscious knowledge about new technologies lies dormant because they use them privately. They need the foresight to recognize and use this. Hierarchical structures must be adapted accordingly," emphasizes the Vorarlberg native.

More funding needed
In addition to the endowed professor, the new research group will comprise five employees and will be continuously expanded over the next few years. This will make it possible to support more medium-sized companies in Vorarlberg. To do so, however, it needs more funding from industry. "In my work, I am also concerned with networking companies so that digital platforms are created. Many topics need to be thought of on a larger scale and should not be limited to a single company," emphasizes the business informatics specialist.

Anchored in degree programmes
The research group strengthens the FHV's competencies in the field of digitalization. The Blum Endowed Professorship is anchored in the Computer Science - Digital Innovation bachelor's degree programme and the Business Informatics - Digital Transformation master's degree programme. Future specialists will be able to use the new knowledge specifically in the development of digitization strategies for Vorarlberg's companies.

"The closer connection between research and teaching brings direct benefits to Business and Management and society in the state. Vorarlberg not only needs applied research in collaboration with local industry, but also training for skilled workers that is needs-based, industry-oriented and forward-looking," emphasizes Stefan Fitz-Rankl, university management at FH Vorarlberg.

Markus Preißinger, Head of Research at the FH Vorarlberg, is pleased about the commitment of Ann-Kristin Cordes: "The transfer of Ann-Kristin Cordes to our FHV shows once again the attractiveness of Vorarlberg as a location for Business and Management. With Ms. Cordes, an internationally renowned expert in the field of Business Informatics strengthens the research of the FHV. In the future, she will conduct research on the pressing issues of digital transformation -  for and with local companies."

About the person
Dr. Ann-Kristin Cordes holds a doctorate in business informatics. She studied at the University of Bielefeld and earned her doctorate at the University of Münster at the European Research Center for Information Systems with the best final grade summa cum laude. She also held the chair of Business Informatics and Process Analytics at the University of Kiel and spent her PostDoc period at the Chair of Business Informatics and Information Management at the University of Münster. Furthermore, she is the spokesperson of the Business Informatics Women's Network within the German association "Die WI e.V". In addition to her academic activities, she has practical experience as an independent IT consultant and as a project manager. Ann-Kristin Cordes prefers to spend her free time on the water or in the mountains, as her passions include sailing and skiing.