Exploring the Future Ep8: Platform strategy as enabling ecosystems


My latest vlog was made at the EU Cloud Stakeholder Summit in Vienna, where I gave a keynote on Platform Strategy.

In the vlog I discuss the idea of platforms as trust-enabled ecosystems, which I believe is an important frame for how we think strategically about the power of platforms. See here for more on platform strategy and the framework I released at the summit.

Transcript below.

I’m at the Digital Single Market Cloud Stakeholder Conference in Vienna, Austria, which brings together the European Union and industry participants that are creating a platform for the digital single market cloud in Europe.

The digital single market is the idea of being able to create a single market for all technology-based services across Europe, perhaps even more important than platforms such as Schengen, which allows a free flow of people.

While GDPR was established in May, providing guidelines around the sharing of personal data, last year the EU committed to the free flow of non-personal data.

So now, the issue is to be able to build these as a platform or as an enabler of this digital single market in Europe.

In my keynote which I’ll give shortly, I’ll be looking at platform strategy,for the first time sharing my platform strategy framework, which looks at:
– Principles
– Position
– Participation
– Design
– Capabilities
– Growth

which are the key elements of a good platform strategy.

But the key point here is, thinking about platforms in the very broadest sense, while I often look at the definition of platforms as enabling value-creating interactions between external producers and consumers, enabled by open infrastructure and governance.

I think a shorter and perhaps more important and precise definition of platforms is that they are enablers of ecosystems.

Ecosystems are where value is created. A long time ago I said that the whole nature of business is shifting from creating value within an organization to creating value across ecosystems and extracting an appropriate share of value from that.

So now you think about a platform as an enabler, what is it that enables an ecosystem to develop?

That could be, of course, largely trust, which includes the governance, human trust, potentially structural trust through tools such as Blockchain.

This ability to enable ecosystems is fundamental.

That applies not just in technology platforms, in social platforms, cities as platforms, governments as platforms… These are all of the things which are going to be fundamental for our ability to create value in the platform and network structure we have in society today and tomorrow.