Bet on the right platform – ECO, ECHO or EGO system

© Tweeter Linder 2015. All rights reserved. Photo by iStock

© Tweeter Linder 2015. All rights reserved. Photo by iStock

Platform logic define many aspects of a networked economy. Your business is part of a bigger eco-system, where your platform strategy is a vital choice. This development area focus on increased awareness on platform logics and how to pick the right platform.

The smart phone industry is a great example of a networked business where platform logic is in play. The platform providers have created a smartphone operating system, e.g. Apple-IOS, Google-Android, Microsoft-Windows and BlackBerry-BlackBerry10. Smartphone providers pick a primary OS for their products. Application providers pick a set of OS and a priority order for their application introductions. The values created in the eco-system define the market penetration of all parts combined.

When selecting the platform/s to bet on you might want to think about three possible outcomes of your platform choice
Eco-system – a powerful market force where platform providers and partners on both sides thrive.
Ego-system – a market force where a very powerful player dictate the rules, at expense of the other parties.
Echo-system – a negligible force where the eco-system aspiration have not reached required momentum.

The strategic choice in early stages of the business is often complex with a risk of ending up as an Ego- or Echo system even if the Eco-system was a clear target. Openness is becoming a key success factor for any new eco-system
The number of eco-systems that can thrive in a given market is restricted to 2 or 3. Play-Station, X-BOX and Wii dominate the market for game consoles. IOS and Android dominate platforms for smartphones. In a few cases a single player is the platform orchestrator for the whole market, e.g. x86 for servers.

Good questions to work with in this area are:
• What are the platform choices that are available for our digital business initiatives? – Vital to find what you can leverage and build-up on.
• What are the critical success factors in securing our eco-system choice becomes a winner in the market? – It is better to do a bad job in a good market, than a good job in a bad market.
• What factors have we considered when picking our platform of choice? – Expect these decisions to be complex.
• Which new disrupting platform plays can we expect? – The digital transformation open up for new platforms and new players.

Here is a set of suggestions to deepen your skills in the eco-system area>

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