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Capturing rewards of platform business models


We recommend three approaches for implementing a platform strategy, and they can be used in concert with each other.

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Why do platforms matter to you? They are already having a multitrillion-dollar business effect, making it critical for leaders to weigh the implications, consequences, and benefits, and fully explore the questions they should be asking.

Remember that less than 25 years ago, you could find plenty of business leaders who were certain the internet meant nothing to their strategies or operations. Today, substitute “platform business model” for “the internet,” and then consider whether your enterprise has fully evaluated the platform opportunity.

Tapping into the greatest possibilities of platforms will depend on thorough, realistic assessments of marketplace value shifts and future value propositions. And setting a platform strategy starts with deciding whether to initiate your own platform, or participate in existing or emerging platforms. Many companies will be able to grow by participating on platforms. A much smaller number are expected to orchestrate and own a major platform; organizations in this group clearly need the capabilities to be a first mover or major platform player.

Either way, a sustained competitive position will likely require a bold, definitive strategy based on a host of smart, strategic choices. These choices include: how enterprises create distinct value, establish required partnerships, and deploy, monetize, and scale their use of platforms.

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How can IBM help you?

IBM can accelerate value realization by identifying digital business transformation opportunities to quickly progress from ideation through to design, prototype and implementation.

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Digital strategy from IBM provides the support needed to succeed and grow. We empower you to offer new experiences through a new and disruptive focus on business model innovation and market activation. We help you accelerate the building of new expertise and new ways to work in a technologically-focused, digital-enabled environment.

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Meet the authors:

Saul J. Berman

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, Vice President, Chief Strategist, IBM Global Business Services;
Edward Giesen

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, Partner, Digital Business Strategy and Transformation;
Jamie Cattell

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, Global Leader, Digital Strategy Service Line, IBM Services;
Fidel Santos

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, Associate Partner, IBM Digital Strategy;
Anthony Marshall, Senior Research Director, IBM Institute for Business Value

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