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Go Digital. Think Platforms!


Go Digital. Think Platforms!

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What are your digital imperatives? Is moving to a platform business model one of them? You may ask what it could mean for you. Well here’s the answer – It is a series of technological solutions that provide outcomes in terms of business innovation and efficiency, as well as customer experience that is truly transformational. This means that a total digital transformation would help businesses cater to changing demands of the customer.

From being digitally challenged in in the 90s to early 2000, where there was simply one way communication and mass media was the only medium of engagement, we are still witnessing some small, as well as large organizations and enterprises who are non-platform based and who are especially in need of a digital platform strategy, are still struggling with adjusting to the new trends. They want the benefits of technology – heightened social media presence - mobile connection, Cloud, Data and Analytics, etc., but they don’t know how to create a strong digital culture to support it. Enterprises based on platform business model, that are empowered digitally are ideally centered on the use of various devices, such as the mobile or tablet for instance – where they have become the center of customer experience and engagement. Also, what we’ve seen with a clear digital platform strategy they are hyper personalized engagements that are facilitated via insights, and increased loyalty to the brand is engendered - as a result of genuine value creation, apart from giving customers discounts, coupons or points.

Companies that are based on platform business model are defined by an ecosystem of value seekers and providers. For eg., Airbnb’s (a platform business model) ecosystem comprises hosts and guests, where the host is essentially a value provider, who is offering a place to stay to the guest, with the guest being the value seeker. To reiterate, value is created by the host and derived by the guest, as with the case of the digitally enabled, Airbnb. Further, one needs to take cognizance of 16 point framework to get digitally enabled and cause that transformation. This framework entails the following attributes which are encapsulated in the image below:

These attributes meet the needs of the digital business era with respect to both, business and technology. So determine what your priority is. Implement elements of ecosystem thinking, value enhancements based on data, and agile innovation of primary systems and get that transformation through the digital platform strategy approach.

So why a platform business model approach? Platforms typically help your organization be extremely flexible to deal with advancing capabilities and subsequently, process changes throughout the transformation journey, which enables a swifter time-to-market with minimal risks. Further, there is a need for a digital platform strategy & approach to conveniently break organizational silos, expand and stretch beyond front, middle and back office processes.

Platform business model adopted by billion dollar companies, such as Airbnb, Uber, Alibaba and Amazon, have proved that, ideation that is backed by commitment to adding real value matters, and nothing else. Also, the ability to initiate with the available resources can do mighty good by bringing out the ‘extraordinary,’ than scouting for something that is superficially great. The former is what these platform business model based companies did and this is why you need to take the plunge and go digital.

Take the case of Uber (or the other a platform business model), we can see that they brought out the “extraordinary” factor by displaying four key characteristics – They are Open, Connected, Intelligent and Scalable. Uber allows for efficient matching from a large pool of drivers and riders, also allowing you to place orders for food on-the-go, showing they are open. Secondly, matching drivers and riders with other parties seamlessly proves they are connected. Using algorithms, understanding copious amounts of data generated by riders and drivers can be garnered - For eg, monitoring traffic conditions, travel times between various places, etc, makes the platform intelligent. Lastly, Uber’s model is replicable, meaning the ease of business to scale drivers, riders and to replicate their business in new cities is due to the scalable nature of the platform.

Haven’t you seen other platform business models possessing similar traits? So now here’s what you should be doing – Use digital platform strategy to digitally transform your respective industries.

Your ways of working on thinking platform strategy and taking the digital route simply means adding novelty to the new, allowing you to make unconventional choices, where embracing a changeless façade in changing scenarios becomes the primary manner of operating. Meaning? Use existing resources (as in the case of Uber), build on them or create them from scratch even as times change. Not only will this be a consistent way of doing things for your digital imperatives, but is also a fully functional and productive way of conducting your business and you will only stand to gain with the platform-led enterprise digital transformation approach. This will not only positively impact ROI, but also allow you to have a greater reach in terms of building your customer base.

Take the right steps now and go digital. Stay current, stay in the know, broaden your vision, and decide. In other words, be open, connected, scalable, and act with intelligence today. Your decision!

To know more about accelerating your Digital Transformation Roadmap click here