Companies are increasingly integrating their core business functionalities with third parties and their platforms.
But rather than treat them like partnerships of old, forward-thinking leaders leverage these relationships to build their role in new digital ecosystems – instrumental to unlocking their next waves of strategic growth. As they do, they’re designing future value chains that will transform their businesses, products, and even the market itself.
As more companies join the Platform Revolution, the way leaders choose to build their portfolio of digital partners is more important than ever. To provide increasingly innovative services and better outcomes for both their business and customers, enterprises across industries are integrating mission-critical activities with digital platforms. As a result, core business functions – from customer service to machine maintenance – now not only include, but also heavily rely on a complex network of digital partners, reaching far beyond the walls of a single organization.
While some companies see these new relationships as simply an evolution to existing value chains, tech-savvy leaders realize that these decisions portend a much deeper strategic shift: to new multidimensional ecosystems that are redefining industries. And, critically, each time an enterprise leverages a third-party platform to support aspects of their business, they are, in fact, choosing the alliance partners they will count on when building their next generation of services.
To remain competitive in the long run, every business must begin moving their thinking beyond the short-term gains that digital platforms provide. They must embrace a more holistic strategy that balances tactical IT decision-making with fostering and investing in the digital ecosystems that will encompass their long-term growth. In doing so, businesses will lay groundwork for building their future digital value chains – and better position themselves at the heart of the emerging digital markets that will determine tomorrow’s leaders and laggards in every industry.
Some companies are already taking bold steps. General Motors kicked off 2016 with a $500 million investment into ride-share platform Lyft. The move gave GM the inroads to launch their Express Drive service, an exclusive offering for successful, but car-less, Lyft driver applicants to rent a car directly from GM and get to work right away. The program was remarkably successful in the short term, opening a new line of business for GM: by July, 30% of new Lyft drivers were requesting an Express Drive vehicle in their sign-up.
But far beyond the immediate success of Express Drive, GM is using Lyft’s platform to join an entirely new digital transportation ecosystem – one that connects a traditional auto manufacturer with leaders in ride-sharing and autonomous vehicles. In addition to partnering with Lyft, GM also made a $1 billion-plus acquisition of the autonomous vehicle software company Cruise Automation, and another billion-dollar investment in building an autonomous vehicle testing facility in Detroit.
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Communicated by Accenture