The fact that platforms can displace traditional companies or at least take business away from them is currently being experienced in almost all industries. What started with B2C industries such as travel (Airbnb, Booking.com) is now continuing in the B2B sector. A current prominent example is WeWork, which established a platform model in the office real estate industry and has now risen to become one of the most valuable startups in the world with $21 billion. The fact that more and more digital attackers are relying on the platform model is therefore no coincidence. According to a study by McKinsey, the 12 percent of companies that rely on platforms in their digitization strategy achieve above-average revenue and profit growth.
The level varies greatly with the aggressiveness of the digitization strategy: companies that certify themselves as having an offensive strategy and rely on platforms achieve the best results when they focus on the demand side of the platforms, i.e., on networking with consumers. They do this by enriching their products with information, social content or connectivity. Choosing a platform strategy focused on the demand side also pays off for the defensive companies. With this strategy, they are still achieving slight growth, while the other defensive companies have lost growth momentum on average.
However, the majority of companies have not yet come to this realization or have ignored it, because platforms always require the insight to attack their own business model. Most established companies have not yet been prepared to do this - and are leaving the field to the digital attackers from the startup world, who operate without legacy burdens. Overall, 88 percent of the 2,100 companies surveyed by McKinsey do not have platform strategies, and 85 percent certify that they have a defensive digital strategy.