What is a platform?


Platforms create an online ecosystem, a dedicated industry-community, facilitates matches among users, encourages interactions, sharing know-how and exchanging of goods and services. In short: they add value for all participants.

Geoffrey Parker professor of engineering at Dartmouth College and a visiting scholar at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy explains platforms as “a business based on enabling value-creating interactions between producers and consumers and provides an open, participative infrastructure for all these interactions while setting governance conditions for them. The platform connects and matches users together and facilitates the exchange of goods and services enabling meaningful value”.

Why do we need online platforms?

According to Gartner’s The Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies report, digital platforms are one of the main megatrends that will drive digital business into the next decade.

“As businesses increasingly rely on platforms and software-as-a-service (SaaS) to support bigger pieces of their technology, they are inherently investing in larger ecosystems that will impact where the organizations will grow. Every company needs an ecosystem strategy to move forward, one that prepares them for a future where they are not involved in just a single ecosystem, but many. How your company selects and fosters the right ecosystems for your business goals will define prospects for the future: competitive advantage depends on the strength of the partners and ecosystems you choose and your plans to help them grow.” Nicolas Maincent, Managing Director, Technology Advisory Lead at Accenture.

Platforms are definitively disrupting the way we do business, are you prepared?

They are changing how competition creates new markets, rivalling the demand for mainstream products: the internet and its platforms grow demand for long tail goods and services.  Only the ones with the most active ecosystems and the ability to mine their interaction data will be able to open new business opportunities and shift market shares. Are you using the right digital platform to extend your brands value and augment your business digitally?

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