What does the development of what the Accenture Technology Vision 2016 calls the platform economy mean for the Nordics? As a key and growing element of the digital environment, the platform economy is set to serve as a source of considerable disruption for all businesses. Building on the insights delivered in the 2015 Technology Vision, the platform economy trend in 2016 describes how platforms are providing the foundation for wholly new forms of value creation by connecting many different players, from competitors to consumers, in novel configurations and in doing so develop new services and products. Platforms are inherently open and borderless. Because they are digital, they impose no barriers to participation from any geography or sector. So how should Nordic businesses go about developing their own models? Will they focus on distinct regional requirements or should they aim, from the start, to build global platforms?
One, perhaps overlooked, example where platforms are already playing a transformational role in the Nordic region is in government. Norway was ranked second in an Accenture survey as a global leader in digital government, and is seen as pioneering the use of technology platforms to engage citizens. Norway’s public sector is creating platforms for the delivery of new services to drive citizen engagement and to provide access to data with which others can innovate and use to create new products and services.
One great illustration of this is the national platform Altinn, that the Norwegian government has developed. Altinn provides the tools and technology on top of which government agencies and businesses can create new services and information, facilitating this through shared resources for uses within an as-a-service model. As new services are developed on the platform, Altinn is giving rise to a broader ecosystem of exchange and interaction in which the costs and effort required to create new services are driven down with each successive development. Third parties can integrate with Altinn and develop value-added services, sharing some elements of common data across ecosystem partners in order to drive innovation.
Norway’s example offers important lessons to other governments in the region for how they might similarly use digital platforms to create new services, engage more effectively with their citizens and make transactions with public services as frictionless as possible. But the public sector approach could also serve as a useful example to businesses in the Nordics as they think about their own approaches to operating in the platform economy. Norway’s public sector success comes from its recognition of the need to be open, sharing data and enabling access to information and tools with which others can experiment and innovate. And those qualities are fundamental to succeeding in a digital economy which is rapidly rewriting the rules of business.
Read more about the Platform economy and the Accenture Technology Vision here.