This report follows and expands on some of the key elements that were analysed in the previous report ‘Monitoring B2B Industrial Digital Platforms in Europe’, which investigated the status of B2B industrial digital platforms and underlined their relevance in fostering the process of digital transformation across industries, as well as their role as a fundamental enabler of the data economy in Europe and beyond. More specifically, the previous report pointed to the central role of digital platforms and of B2B industrial digital platforms in particular, in bringing about a composite business ecosystem that is conducive of innovative products, solutions and business processes. It also emphasised how an ever-increasing number of leading organisations in Europe across all industry sectors is shifting to ’platform thinking’ with remarkable impacts on their business models and technology architecture. It further found that the supply-side of the European B2B platform market is fragmented and that, in contrast, the demand for B2B industrial digital platforms is quite solid with a vast majority of European companies perceiving clear advantages in the adoption of B2B platforms, such as the potential to access significantly larger markets and increase revenues as a result.
With this in mind, the present report builds on these findings and aims to expand them by:
- providing an overview of the relevance of these platforms in the context of post COVID-19 economy ‘next normal’;
- highlighting the potential impact of these technologies on the industrial ecosystems, in particular when it comes to the potential amplification of the digital divide;
- introducing a classification for the different B2B ecosystem models and provide an organised summary of the key initiatives that are being deployed in Europe and elsewhere.