Digitalization plays a major role in contributing towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Without transformation of existing businesses, both economic and environmental challenges of the future cannot be solved sustainably. However, there is much confusion on interrelationships and terms dealing with digitization or digitalization: Digital business model, digital transformation, digital entrepreneurship. How do these terms interrelate with and to digitalization, and how do they support firms to grow sustainably?
To answer this question, we identified seven core digital-related terms based on a structured literature search within the management and economics domain, namely: Digital, Business Model, Digital Business Model, Digital Technology, Digital Innovation, Digital Transformation, and Digital Entrepreneurship. Thereafter, we analyzed prior literature for deriving a common understanding and definition as a basis for interrelations within a conceptual framework. Definitions were presented in a case study setup with twelve innovation and research and development (R&D) managers from various business units of a German high-tech company. Based on these insights, we propose a conceptual framework on how Digital Readiness, Digital Technology, and Digital Business Models might sustainably relate to Innovation, moderated by a Digital Transformation Process. With this approach, we aim to equip practitioners and researchers alike in handling and addressing change through digitalization sustainably.