Are digital platforms essential for growth?

The discussions at the Academy of Management annual meeting symposium – “A Multi-Disciplinary Perspective on Platform Ecosystems Research” made a strong case for platforms as a primary model to understand business models. Industry Platforms and Ecosystem Innovation also makes a strong case for the central role of platforms in evolution of a firm.

At the firm level using the 5 patterns described in “The New Patterns of Innovation” provide a simple way to identify innovation ideas and explore opportunities for growth. Considering these ideas as candidate platforms allows the full market potential of the idea to be explored. In addition, the challenges in creating the ecosystem of complementors, design of the digital platform, impacts to the current organisation and financial case can be created.

Adding the structure of Component Business Modelling  can provide an analytical framework to substantiate the financial case and develop the change programme.

These tools all seem to point to the digital platform as being the primary value creation tool for established business and there is clear need for unpacking this idea into a practical toolbox for managers.


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