Digital platforms are particularly popular in the technology sector. Well-known examples include the likes of Apple’s App Store or the Play Store, which belongs to its rival, Google. These examples illustrate how a digital platform works. The platform operator provides the necessary infrastructure. Various third-party providers then upload their programs. Meanwhile, end users browse the platform to find suitable apps, which they then download and install. The platform operator not only takes care of the technical equipment required for uploads and downloads, but is also responsible for collecting payment for these services. Elsewhere, similar platforms are now also becoming popular in other sectors and are thus becoming increasingly important from an economic perspective.

Digital platforms not well understood within the German economy

Have you just heard the term ‘digital platform’ for the very first time? Then you have been missing out on one of the most important current economic developments. However, you seem to be in good company. A representative survey by Bitkom Research of 505 German companies revealed that not even half of these companies (only 43 percent) actually knew this term. When asked, the vast majority said they had never heard the expression before. Even among those decision-makers who already know about digital platforms, 39 percent still believe this technology is not very important to their own business activities. Nevertheless, 55 percent of this group still said they would like to use this technology for their own company.

Digital platforms are becoming increasingly important

This lack of expertise regarding digital platforms in Germany poses a major threat to economic development. These facilities already have a huge impact on sales, especially in technology-related industries and in online commerce. Furthermore, digital platforms are gaining ground in other areas. It is clear that over the next few years they will play an important role in almost every industry. Companies that choose to ignore this development run the risk of being left behind within a very short time.

This article was originally published on LinkedIn.