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Digital Platform Introduction 

The need for consistent experiences across these digital mediums leads to opportunities and challenges in delivering a consistent, seamless, and compelling user experience across channels. As technology revolutionizes the market strategy of modern businesses, organizations including the startups are leveraging digital platforms to encompass this shift in customer interaction. Organizations have now all understood the power of such models and started to build their own digital platform that is set out to become their new business model and accelerate the reach of new markets.

A digital platform consists of many services, representing a unique collection of software or hardware services of a company used to deliver its digital strategy. Organizations look for the services that provide businesses with the best performance to cost ratio, but some services are almost always required for all applications or solutions. Digital platforms have gained importance in business due to this ‘performance to cost ratio’ advantage.  

The digital platform strategy will vary from company to company depending on their internal workflow strategy. Some companies will develop a platform business model that encompasses providers, consumers, and employees to create or exchange goods, services, and social interaction while some integrate with other organizations’ digital platforms. Regardless of the setup, the platform strategy must be able to integrate business and IT needs and establish a collective leadership vision. Companies must decide what makes sense for their organization and long-term business goals.

There are three types of digital platforms:

Aggregation Platforms

These platforms help facilitate transactions and connect users to data resources. This model tends to operate on a hub-and-spoke model.

Social Platforms

This platform helps in facilitating social interactions and connecting individuals to communities. This model tends to foster mesh relationship networks.

Mobilization Platforms

This platform facilitates mobilization and moving people to act together. This model tends to foster longer-term relationships to achieve shared goals.

Digital Platforms: The Importance

The use of platform thinking extends beyond the tech sector onto the marketing industry. The marketing retailers are swiftly shifting from distribution channels selling products, to engagement platforms co-creating value. Online retailers like eBay, Etsy, and Amazon led the way, and now traditional retailers are following the same path. The innovation around latest platform abilities are being driven by three transformative technologies: cloud, social, and mobile. The cloud enables a global infrastructure for production, allowing everyone to create content and applications for a global audience. Social networks connect people globally and maintain their identity online. Mobile devices such as mobiles and tablets allow connection to this global infrastructure anytime, anywhere. The result is a globally accessible network of entrepreneurs, workers, and consumers who are available to create businesses, contribute content, and purchase goods and services. The future has set out to see more and more companies shifting from products to platforms.

Digital platforms allow for companies to pursue business models that bring together multiple buyers and sellers. For example, designers of smart cities will build ecosystems to bring together partners of all sizes. Banks will bring new products and services to customers via an ecosystem of fintech (financial technology).

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