I have a new post up on the Deloitte Strategy blog, which I wrote with Richard Millar.
Platforms are all the rage. In the modern digital economy many organisations are looking to create platforms, rather than simply building a traditional value-chain driven company (otherwise known as a ‘pipe’).
In this context, a platform is a business model designed to facilitate exchanges between interdependent groups; as opposed to a pipe, which is centred on the sourcing, production and distribution process. The successful companies of the past focused on controlling distribution (something which is increasingly difficulty in our highly-interconnected digital world), while it’s thought that successful companies in the future will focus on controlling access to customers (which they can do by creating a platform that attracts the best customers).
Platforms are where the smart money is going (particularly if your platform is seen as scalable). There’s even a Platform Strategy Summit where you can learn the tricks that will make your platform successful.
This recent obsession with platforms raises some concerns though, as it seems to confuse cause and effect.
You can find the entire text over at the Strategy blog.