Platform business models have become a global phenomenon with important management implications. This is the conclusion of a global survey of platform companies undertaken by CGE and presented at the MIT Platform Strategy Summit on July 15, 2016. In his keynote address kicking off the summit, Samuel J. Palmisano, Founder and Chairman of The CGE, discussed how “asset light” organizations are leading the platform revolution but that all companies are seeking how to manage the growing intersection of physical and digital worlds. Following Sam’s presentation Peter C. Evans, VP and Director of CGE’s “Emerging Platform Economy” research, presented the findings from CGE’s global survey of platform companies and two new CGE research papers: The Rise of the Platform Enterprise: a Global Survey and The Rise of African Platforms: a Regional Survey.
“The political environment in Europe and the United States may point to a growth in nationalism, but the rapid growth of digital platforms, networks, and data business models in fact represents the latest shift in the forces of globalization,” wrote MIT’s Sloan School of Business Management of Sam Palmisano’s presentation.
Indeed, Sam’s keynote speech and many others throughout the day focused on the importance of platforms for startups as well as incumbents. While platforms allow companies to scale and grow at unprecedented speeds, they also present a myriad of challenges such as managing in a multi-sided market and cyber-security risks.
“Platform companies are becoming an important part of national systems of innovation. The world’s largest platform companies are not only earning more patents but are seeding whole ecosystems of startups in cutting-edge areas of machine learning and artificial intelligence,” said Peter Evans. “While, platforms have traditionally been associated with industries like e-commerce and mobile payments,” he added, “energy, health-care and the public sector are ripe for innovation – the platform enterprise will be a fascinating space of business to watch in the coming years.”
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