Platforms Aren’t Just for Tech Companies

Posted by Caroline Boyd | 06-Jun-2016 08:30:00

Are platforms relevant for Nimbus Ninety members, or just for the big tech companies and garage start-ups? 

You’d expect to see a reference to the platform economy on one of our blog posts - after all, we are the independent research community of disruptive business and technology leaders. And what’s more disruptive than the platform economy?

But this subject of platforms and their disruptive impact, referred to by many as uberisation, seems to be popping up everywhere at the moment- and in the most random and unexpected places. A quick Google this morning revealed, ‘the uberisation of accountancy’, ‘the uberisation of government’, ‘the uberisation of interior design?!’ and even, rather alarmingly, ‘the uberisation of the world!’

With all this supposed "uberisation" going on, you could be forgiven for feeling a bit jaded or even cynical. Is it all just hype, or is this incredible media interest and buzz justified? More importantly, are platforms relevant for Nimbus Ninety members, or just for the big tech companies and garage start-ups? In truth, there are probably only a handful of companies that really deserve the moniker, ‘platform company’, but given that almost no industry is going to be left unscathed by their actions, surely it makes sense for all businesses to have a platform strategy; whether that’s a plan for how to deal with the inevitable disruption from platform companies, or better yet, a strategy for how to take on aspects of these new platform-enabled business models.    

That proactive sentiment certainly appears to resonate with our members, according to the results from our latest Digital Insights Series survey launched today, "Examining the Impact and Implications of the Platform Economy". Between March and May 2016, we surveyed 173 Nimbus Ninety members with the aim of understanding how they view the impact of the platform economy on their businesses. The survey revealed that contrary to common belief, platforms are very much a priority for established businesses.

In fact, a whopping 86% of respondents stated that they already had a platform strategy at varying stages of maturity ranging from planning to fully implemented. Only a paltry 9% of respondents stated that they had no current plans to develop a platform strategy. The survey also revealed that highest rated strategic opportunity for investing in platforms was internal innovation at 92% followed by customer experience and revenue growth, joint at 88%.

This is just a snapshot of the results, to download the full report click here. And look out for the launch of our next research initiative on Innovation Ecosystems, later this week.

Written by Caroline Boyd

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