The increased interconnectedness brought about by platforms and ecosystems carries significant opportunities for developing new functionality and new types of business models, but it also creates new complex structures where organizations cannot isolate their own pace of change in terms of technology and operations. As such, digital innovation conveys high potential rewards for both innovators and technology users, but also involves new types of risks. These risks and rewards are different for various stakeholders in the ecosystem. However, their overall composition affects the long-term innovation outcome of the whole system. As platforms and ecosystems are increasingly relied upon as organizing principles, comprehensive knowledge on what mechanisms contribute to building successful platform-centric ecosystems is imperative. Here, we posit that the distribution of risks and rewards in platform-centric ecosystems typically involves an ongoing, complex and not well-understood balancing act. Thus, while platform-centric ecosystems may turn out to become sources of competitive advantage; they are also coupled with uncertainties and consequent risks facing stakeholders in such ecosystems.

This project seeks to address the following overarching research question: how and why do platform-centric ecosystems evolve to become sustainable and self-reinforcing, and, what is the role of risk and reward configurations in the evolution process?

SCDI participants

Jonny Holmström, Johan Sandberg, Henrik Wimelius, Hosea Ayaba and Daniel Skog.

Funding and timeline

The project is funded by Marianne och Marcus Wallenbergs Stiftelse until 2024.