Digital + platform = 1

Digital and platform are two words that match at 100%. It’s the golden child of the digital revolution. Why? Well, it can improve experiences for customers, employees and business partners. It offers new forms of innovation and value creation. This market is growing at a rapid pace. But sadly a lot of companies fail to get people on board, why so?

*Article initially published on Medium.com 07/08/2019

“A digital platform consists of many building blocks that encompass the software and/or hardware services of a company. “

What is a digital platform?

First of all, what is a digital platform? It refers to the software or hardware of a site and handles an end-to-end business process. It helps businesses to enhance user experience in order to attract new customers. Today the evolution of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine-learning transactional engines to perform tasks or rules-based activities, cloud, and analytics are playing a crucial role in the digital platform market. These components must be aligned and integrated in order to create better user experiences.

Let me give you some examples:

  • Social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & LinkedIn
  • Application stores: Apple/Google Play
  • Market places: Amazon market place and shopping engines
  • Media platforms: Spotify & Deezer.
  • Crowd-sourcing platforms: Uber, BlablaCar & AirBnB
  • etc…

Pretty much any Marketing campaign or branding campaign includes digital platforms. You wonder why?

For example, if you wrote an interesting article you could promote it to the public on digital platforms such as WordPress, Facebook (on your Facebook Page to generate an online presence and brand awareness) and use MailJet to send newsletters to your customers and business partners.

Why should we invest in this digital world?

According to this Accenture report, “While it used to take Fortune 500 companies an average of 20 years to reach a billion-dollar valuation, today’s digital start-ups can get there in four years. Digital platforms are largely responsible for this shift.”

Today we’ve entered a data-driven world. This way the digital platform has to cut across the traditional organizational structure and the policies. This in order to enable the new operating model. It needs to change! And for that, it needs a different structure, a different business model, a different mindset, a different set of policies and new processes.

But of course who says “change” says “resistance”. So how can a company manage to drive user adoption of its brand-new digital platform?

Digital transformation

Due to the dynamic changes in Marketing, the increasing demand for innovation and the development of technology, the focus of companies is shifting. Digital transformation is the new HOT! Companies understand the importance of digital platforms and change management is becoming an important element in the management of businesses. A digital transformation is so much more than a concept. It’s a technology-enabled reality.

Companies adopt digital platforms for different reasons, here’s a summary:

  • Smart consumption of digital assets in order to maximize operational excellence
  • Implement intelligent processes
  • Monetize internal resources
  • Enhance the customer experience and business experience
  • Provide services which enable the IT and e-commerce business to quickly resolve issues in order to provide a higher level of user satisfaction at a reduced cost.

Digital technologies present opportunities for companies. When they act to take advantage of these opportunities through digital transformation, two pillar activities will play a major role: building a digital platform and building a new operating model.

But it can present a pitfall. A company is limited in how far it can go in changing its operating model. But how can we define the success of a digital platform? Well, actually it doesn’t depend on the technologies comprising the platform or the implementation, it depends on how the users adopt the platform.

Technology + the operation model = 1

Using the “technology-first approach” when building a digital platform, isn’t the right path to take. Companies hope that by using this approach they will accomplish their objectives but it’s a destined-for-failure approach. Why? Technologies create no value but your company model will. The new operating model creates value.

Digital organizations like Google, Amazon or Uber understand the power of digital technologies.

The path to success

To create a competitive advantage, companies undertake digital transformation. You should think about the moment that matters most to each type of user. If the platform delivers the experience that matters, it will be a success.

Questions?

We hope we succeed in giving you more insights on this subject. If you have any questions feel free to reach our Shippr team at “hello@shippr.be”. You can also connect with the team on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn!

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