Successful tech companies are unleashing profound global macroeconomic changes through their platform-based business models. But this is not just a tech industry phenomenon. Industry leaders across all market segments are building platforms to seize new opportunities for growth and capital rewards. In fact, 81 percent of executives say platform-based business models will be core to their growth strategy within three years.
However, managing a platform is different than managing an application and the methods, techniques and skills of product management in these two environments are distinct.
Successful platforms have product managers who constantly strive to shift the organization’s DNA from product to “platform first.”
Accenture’s research on managers from successful platform companies and its internal platform product teams revealed eight key dimensions to shift to a “Platform First” approach. These are
- Empower the different types of personas to deliver optimal value and rich experiences
- Protect the core interactions and enable the rest to create complimentary experiences
- Scale with public APIs while providing premium or secure access through private APIs
- Influence the microservices architecture and choose the right metrics to define success
- Strive for long-term sustainability versus short-term trade-offs to make the platform better over time
- Emphasize future-proofing during platform updates for long term sustainability, scalability & performance
- Optimize by adopting the right monetization models for best returns on investment
- Inspire the shift to a “platform first” culture
A platform first DNA
The movement from a product approach to a platform approach is a complete organizational transformation,
inclusive of product management. An organization that does not embed the necessary platform product management capabilities into its DNA can make poor strategic decisions with potentially devastating effects.
By following the above eight guiding principles, organizations can ensure they have the best platform product management capabilities in place to guide their future, monetize their investment and capitalize on the multiplier effect of having many thriving businesses whose livelihood sits on top of their platform.