The digital platform economy is on fire! While each business domain has its own digital needs, companies operating in the same sphere have begun to realize that they are dealing with identical challenges. Many are already on top of this opportunity, weighing the pros and cons of platform business. The race to "own" the domain, or to be the first to introduce game-changing digital assets, is on!
Key industry challenges
Digitalization affects all players and there is a huge market for all kinds of digital tools.
Companies can assume a leading position in their domain or chain-linked business by providing digital tools that connect and benefit all players.
Investments into digital tools are significant; turning custom software designs into platform products can create significant ROI.
Platforms generate huge amounts of data, that can in itself be an asset to its members and owners.
All digital platforms rely on the positive dynamics within the ecosystem and success is directly related to the experiences of the members involved in it. Each platform has a unique business model, different operating principles, a distinctive clientele and ecosystem as well as different ties to the brick-and-mortar world. Success in this field requires smooth onboarding, continued value creation and practical operational tools for everybody.
Innovation platforms catalyze creativity, transaction platforms create connections, and any professional tool can be turned into a platform with the help of the right partner.
We are experts in creating the critical links between platform business models, ecosystem support structures and technical platform development.
For us, creating a platform is an excercise in systemic design and smart roadmapping. Often, platforms are top heavy in terms of funding, making it super important to design for a fast return on investment and to ensure that the roadmap and rollout plans support key performance indicators.
Ensuring positive network effects and scaling
Everything starts with understanding how the platform makes sense in terms of business: what are the ecosystem members willing to contribute and what kind of concrete value will they receive? Platform transactions can come in many forms, and do not always involve money. Transaction fees or subscription models are definitely not the only, or the best, solution for all platforms. The first step is to find a win-win value creation model.
Making a smart rollout plan & roadmap
The rollout plan will be unique for each platform and includes considerations, such as which ecosystem members to onboard first, what content needs to be in place first, and what markets to approach first. There are many variables to consider. The first release is always critical, which is why we pay a lot of attention to scoping and roadmapping.
Figuring out the support function requirements
Going into a platform business will require new internal activities within the company. These may include marketing, sales, training, customer support, and administration. Companies also often need to plan how to deal with specific customer requirements or customization requests.
Learning about your ecosystem and platform performance
All new business ideas are initially built on assumptions. In order to validate your idea, your platform needs to have built-in data collection and analysis capabilities. The smartest digital tools are actively evolved over time, based on performance data.