Platforms 4 Future

Ecosystems and customer behaviour post Covid-19

In the second part of our double episode about platform ecosystems we were in discussion with Evangelos Avramakis, a recognised thought leader and advisor in the insurance industry, who works for the Swiss Re Institute. With his main focus on digital ecosystems, Evangelos gave us lots of insights about the drivers and challenges of building ecosystems and the impact of Covid19 onto this topic.

Evangelos Avramakis is a recognised thought leader and advisor in the field of insurance industry. At the Swiss Re institute he works with focus on digital and consumer related topics as the Head of Digital Ecosystems R&D. Within his position, he analyses the mid- and long term developments of emerging technologies and business models. Covering both digitization and business developments Evangelos has also huge knowledge and insights about the evolution of platforms and ecosystems which we are very pleased to learn more about.

From platform to ecosystem thinking

To get a better understanding about the overall topic, Evangelos explains the differences of three business model types which are important to us:

  • The first one is the first thing when it comes to platforms, the digital product behind the platform. Here we can see a more central approach containing the definition of the value proposition and the matching of supply and demand.
  • The second kind of business model integrates additional services around the initial product regarding variations of the product itself but also new financial services e.g. On this stage the main goal is to enrich the customer experience.
  • On top of these two models the involvement of different stakeholders takes place. That’s when we talk about the real platform ecosystem, where it’s not only about the improvement of the customer experience but also “exchanging data and insights among different partners to leverage the value of the ecosystem”.

These three types should not be separated from each other because they kind of build on each other. According to Evangelos, none of today’s ecosystems started with a pure ecosystem approach. Most of them started their journey with a quite narrowed platform focus and then over time extended their value proposition as well as their stakeholder network through usage of generated data. Along this process, Evangelos mentiones scalability as the first step.

Impacts of Covid-19 on the ecosystem economy

Due to the actual worldwide pandemic situation we were also very interested in its economical impacts. Therefore, Evangelos points out two different aspects: the changes in consumer behaviour on the one hand and the changing requirements for companies to secure their market position.

The latter is a very interesting one, because during the pandemic more and more companies made use of digital channels and solutions with regard to their sales as well as their organizational activities. But for Evangelos that’s not enough to get ready for the future. It is also necessary to maybe invest into new technologies and data-driven solutions to digitize the business model in a way it can easily scale. As he points out: “data-driven business models are the best enablers for scaling, especially in the COVID era”.

As already mentioned, it is also important to take a look on the consumer side because their demands, especially the purchasing behaviour, also changed. But also the interpersonal behaviour between people converted through the digital adoption. So we can see digitization is a key result of the pandemic but also a key driver for future developments of platforms and ecosystems.

Do you want to learn more about the the connection between platform and ecosystem thinking? Check out the whole article or listen to our Platforms 4 Future podcast episode via your favorite streaming platform.

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