Information Platforms: A Business Model Framework


Author: Simon Alterman

Date: May 8, 2017


What is a platform? It may be the most over-used and the least well defined term in the whole lexicon of the digital economy, but it’s also, in Outsell’s opinion, one of the most important.

Our report, Information Platforms: A Business Model Framework, examines the characteristics of platforms in the networked information universe and their critical role for all businesses. We examine and illustrate the different components of a modern information platform, examine different platform models — from the perspective of business outcomes rather than the technologies involved — and look at the capabilities and organizational structures required for success.

This report includes information gathered from a dozen analyst-led primary research interviews with CEOs pursuing different platform strategies. We also combined this with our ongoing research in the industry and our constant dialogue with hundreds of senior executives across all major sectors. We’ve synthesised these views with secondary research to reach our conclusions and recommendations.

To read more about the strategic choices CEOs and their teams must make in order to decide how best to position themselves and compete successfully in this environment, download our report today.

Table of Contents

Why This Topic?


What Is a Platform

Platform Components

Other Key Attributes of Platform Business

Platform Types

Data Platforms

Community Platforms

Marketplace Platforms

From Products to Platform

Culture of Openness

Scale vs. Control

Platform Data

Essential Actions

Related Research


Figure 1. Essential Offerings and Key Attributes of Full Information Platform


Table 1. Platform Types and Characteristics

Additional information



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