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What exactly is a platform economy, and how does it impact business?

  • Is there immense value, hidden and locked away in our traditional way of thinking?
  • How can we adapt to meet the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution, stay relevant and prevent ourselves from being disrupted?
  • What is a platform and why is it relevant to us?

Examples of successful platforms are Uber, AirBnB, Amazon, Facebook and many more highly valued businesses that were not around a few years ago.

Amongst other things, they have mastered the connection between suppliers of services and demand for those services, taken the friction out of the process of engagement, and created a means to grow exponentially by focusing on value for all participants.

Platforms exist in the digital world, and are valued by the potential number of participants, and the advertising or commercial transactions that can occur to generate revenue.

Can any company become a platform?

In the business to consumer space, the answer is probably yes, in the business to business space, maybe. Every business should examine the question, understand platform dynamics, and consider the implications for its future strategy.

What is the value in doing this?

On the customer side of a platform, the value of a significant number of participants is remarkable, as an example the Dollar Shave Club sold to Unilever for $1 Billion, at 3 million customers. That’s over $300 per customer, so how many customers do you have? One of the reasons is often stated that customer data is the new currency. How accessible is your customer data?

Platforms allow businesses and customers to transact seamlessly, digitally and in a very user friendly manner, look at how easy it is to find accommodation from AirBnB, buy a book in the Kindle store, or music from Apple? Now think of the journey you take your customer through to buy your goods or services? How scalable is it, are you digital in every respect?

What would be the value in a platform for your customer base? What additional services could you plug in, what additional brands? What value would partners bring to your platform? How could you make the customer journey digital in every respect?

The start of every digital journey should be to look at where and how you capture information, is it automated and a part of the process, or is it subject to manual intervention?

How accessible is your customer or partner information, in a digital format or locked away in a filing cabinet somewhere? How complete and accurate is it, do you struggle with big data challenges, multiple sources of questionable accuracy?

Realyst has built a set of solutions to allow organisations to move towards a digital future, to meet the objectives of frictionless business, and the often touted “new operating model” required in the digital world.

For more information on how we can transform your operations, please contact here.

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