Enterprises around the world are partnering with digital platform creators as a business strategy to transform themselves into valuable industry players, according to a research report from Accenture Technology Labs.

A new wave of industry growth is being won by platform-based companies, the Accenture Technology Vision 2015 report finds, with 74 per cent of survey respondents already using these platforms to integrate data with their digital business partners. The report is based on a global survey of 2,000 business and IT executives across nine countries and 10 industries. There was also almost 100 interviews conducted with a group of industry and business leaders.

“Rapid advances in cloud and mobility not only are eliminating the technology and cost barriers associated with such platforms, but also are opening up this new playing field to enterprises across industries and geographies,” the report says. “In short: platform-based ecosystems are the new plane of competition.”

The report lists several examples:

  • Philips is transforming its medical equipment manufacturing business into a platform by partnering with Salesforce.com. The platform will encourage developers building digital healthcare applications, such as collaboration software for doctors, diagnosis apps for patients, or to aid in the delivery of treatment between doctors and patients.
  • Fiat is taking its cars into the digital age with partnerships across many different companies, including TomTom, Reuters, Facebook, and TuneIn. Pooling all the services together into its Uconnect platform that offers drivers an advanced infotainment system while they are behind the wheel.
  • Home Depot is pushing out products in the new “smart home” category by working with manufacturers to provide compatibility with Wink’s wireless connected home system. By putting for a standard, Home Depot can offer its customers a wide array of different products that are easy to install and get running.

Other companies might want to take note of the trend, the Accenture report suggests.

“The effort has potential for tremendous rewards. The new age of the digital ecosystem isn’t only about changing an individual company, it’s about shaping entire markets,” it reads. “Each enterprise will determine its own fortunes – and that’s an opportunity that no company will want to miss.”

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