Accenture's South African business along with South Africa's Gordon Institute of Business Science have published a new report that looks into the platform economy and whether South Africa is ready for the shift it presents or not. Titled "South Africa: Winning with Digital Platform", the report also present the various challenges and opportunities available as far as the platform economy is concerned.

Dr. Jeff Yu-Jen Chen, Faculty at Gordon Institute of Business Science, explains that platform strategies can benefit small and large companies in South Africa and that business executives should explore how platform-enabled business models can complement the traditional modus operandi of their organisations.

"This growing composite of many-sided, demand-driven businesses is coming to dominate the linear strategies of old. Companies can now create ecosystems with their businesses at the centre, changing how businesses both compete and create value. Thatโ€™s why South African companies must consider developing a platform strategy โ€“ whether they own a platform or not.โ€

Moreover, the report notes, a number of newer, increasingly powerful digital platforms โ€“ some of which have spawned entirely new markets โ€“ are adding value for both buyers and sellers. Uber, for example, increases the transport options for travellers and the employment opportunities for drivers. While Airbnb boosts choices for travellers and revenue opportunities for homeowners. Among other insights, the report highlights a simple commonality in the major platformsโ€™ success: carving out a role in a fragmented or saturated market by aggregating services into a single, convenient point of access.

Globally, the top 15 public platform companies already represent $2,6 trillion in market capitalization. In 2017 alone, 7 of the top 11 Forbes Global Top 100 companies with the largest market cap increase were leading platform companies.

โ€œAccentureโ€™s Platform Readiness Index benchmarked G20 countries on factors that create an enabling environment for digital-platform adoption โ€ฆ [and measured] the maturity of the digital population and market based on its size, savviness, culture and spirit of collaborative innovation. It also looked at the quality of each countryโ€™s technology infrastructure and assessed market regulation.โ€ states the report.

For a copy of the report, contact Accenture South Africa.

Cover image credit: Johannesburg from the top of the Carlton Centre. Wikimedia Commons

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