Once again Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google head the list of the world’s most valuable companies in 2017.
The so-called “FAAMG” platforms are celebrated as the spearheads of the digital age. Yet, even as the whole world looks spellbound towards Silicon Valley, impressed by the success of these superstars, a new phase of the platform economy is taking place. At first sight, the new players look far less spectacular than the old ones. But their impact will be more powerful.
This time the transformation comes right from the heart of the classic economy. Whereas the first phase was all about consumers, B2C and disruptors, the new game-changers are the traditional companies themselves, mostly coming from the B2B sector. Like the first phase, the impact will come fast. This pace is further driven by a new dynamic: the Internet of Things (IoT).The IoT network of devices, sensors, and software enables companies to access intelligence that has been invisible so far. A smart platform of Things will boost the amount of data available like never before and set free incredible potential. Forecasts already predict 20 billion connected devices and 40 trillion gigabytes of data generated by 2020. By the same year, worldwide IoT revenue is projected to reach US$7 trillion.
The greatest potential lies in the connection of machines via the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT). The data generated here will reveal all kinds of inefficiencies and, together with Artificial Intelligence, will solve problems in a blink. Supply chains and production processes will become transparent and boost business performance. Manufacturers will better understand their equipment by creating digital twins of their plants.
Since the platform economy is all about velocity, only the most agile companies will succeed. Per industry, no more than three platforms will survive and set the tone for the industry’s future. A new approach for tackling these challenges was recently presented by the German machine building industry: Setting the tone is ADAMOS (an acronym for ADAptive Manufacturing Open Solutions), where world market leaders DMG MORI, Dürr Group, ZEISS and ASM PT together with Software AG have joined forces in a collective vendor-independent IIOT platform.
The game is on. Whichever way they choose, traditional companies that respond now to the wake-up call of the digital FAAMG superstars will be amongst the winners of the second phase of the platform economy. The potential is enormous, opportunities are within grasp. Now it’s up to the conventional companies to unleash their vision of future and shape the new age.