Platform Ecosystems: Aligning Architecture, Governance, and Strategy

Platform Ecosystems: Aligning Architecture, Governance, and Strategy

Amrit Tiwana

Language: English

Pages: 300

ISBN: 0124080669

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Platform Ecosystems is a hands-on guide that offers a complete roadmap for designing and orchestrating vibrant software platform ecosystems. Unlike software products that are managed, the evolution of ecosystems and their myriad participants must be orchestrated through a thoughtful alignment of architecture and governance.   Whether you are an IT professional or a general manager, you will benefit from this book because platform strategy here lies at the intersection of software architecture and business strategy. It offers actionable tools to develop your own platform strategy, backed by original research, tangible metrics, rich data, and cases. You will learn how architectural choices create organically-evolvable, vibrant ecosystems. You will also learn to apply state-of-the-art research in software engineering, strategy, and evolutionary biology to leverage ecosystem dynamics unique to platforms. Read this book to learn how to:

  • Evolve software products and services into vibrant platform ecosystems
  • Orchestrate platform architecture and governance to sustain competitive advantage
  • Govern platform evolution using a powerful 3-dimensional framework

If you’re ready to transform platform strategy from newspaper gossip and business school theory to real-world competitive advantage, start right here!

  • Understand how architecture and strategy are inseparably intertwined in platform ecosystems
  • Architect future-proof platforms and apps and amplify these choices through governance 
  • Evolve platforms, apps, and entire ecosystems into vibrant successes and spot platform opportunities in almost any―not just IT―industry

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about every industry to understand the blueprints of platform-based markets to recognize and adapt to these shifts. 1.4 LESSONS LEARNED Platforms are challenging conventional models that served us well in the industrial era. The confluences of five forces is creating the perfect storm fertile in opportunities to transform diverse industries into software-centric platforms. This transformation can alter how a firm makes money, retains customers, organizes everything from mundane tasks to

users to switch to a competing platform (e.g., Monteverde and Teece, 1982), that heavy-handed approach eventually fails. Coercive lock-in, as we subsequently describe, is potentially breakable (using technologies such as middleware, adapters, and protocol translators). This approach relies on creating high switching costs: Costs associated with terminating the existing use of a technology solution to migrate to a rival one. An alternative way of creating lock-in is by making the platform

these components, and the relationships among them (Sanchez, 1995; van Schewick, 2012, p. 21). The architecture of a platform or an app is therefore a high-level description of its building blocks and how they are related to each other, not a working implementation. Broadly, architectures can vary between the two extremes of being perfectly modular (plug-and-play) and perfectly monolithic. Most architectures fall somewhere along this continuum. Architectures are a defining property of individual

constraints of city laws Autonomy of app developers, with the constraints of the platform’s rules Evolution Retirement of old assets Retirement of legacy functionality Expansion into outskirts Expansion with new interfaces and APIs Gentrification of neighborhoods Widespread adoption of once-unique services and functionality by many apps Renovation of historic buildings Expansion of platform core functionality over time Capacity to absorb new migrants Capacity to scale Modernization

streams from networked objects Context awareness • • Loosely coupled networks rival efficiencies of firms • Alters who can participate from where • Alters where services can be delivered • Scale without ownership 1.3 Drivers of the Migration Toward Platforms 11 1.3.1 Driver #1: Deepening specialization Customers are increasingly demanding more customization instead of homogenous products and services delivered in volume (Williamson and De Meyer, 2012). At the same time, the complexity of

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