From the Author of The Agile Architecture Revolution

Jason Bloomberg

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Platform Revolution And Digital Transformation: Don’t Become The Next Unicorn

Uber. Airbnb. Facebook. It seems that every Silicon Valley conversation, every software pitch deck, every article on digital transformation must mention these unicorns. Pioneers of the Networked Digital Era. Or maybe The Sharing Economy. Or perhaps, The Platform Revolution.

Becoming a unicorn: rarely a practical business goal.

Becoming a unicorn: rarely a practical business goal.

The latter phrase is the title of the latest book by Marshall W. Van Alstyne, Professor at Boston University Questrom School of Business, and his coauthors Sangeet Paul Choudary and Geoffrey G. Parker.

Van Alstyne discussed the Platform Revolution at his recent keynote at the Appian World conference in San Francisco. “Platforms are overtaking energy and banking on the Fortune 500,” Van Alstyne said. “13 of the top 30 brands have ecosystems.”

Van Alstyne contrasted traditional, value chain-based businesses who build economies of scale as they grow, with platform-based businesses who leverage network effects to dominate their industries by building ecosystems of buyers and sellers.

In addition, for every platform pure play like the aforementioned Ubers of the world, Van Alstyne called out traditional enterprises like General Electric as well as hybrid companies like Apple and Samsung, who combine value chain-centric business models (selling smartphones, for example) with broad ecosystems that leverage software-based platforms (like Apple’s App Store, as well as its diverse developer community).

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Intellyx publishes the Agile Digital Transformation Roadmap poster, advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives, and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. As of the time of writing, Appian is an Intellyx customer. None of the other organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx customers. Appian covered Jason Bloomberg’s travel expenses to Appian World, a standard industry practice. Image credit: Tomais Ashdene.

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More Stories By Jason Bloomberg

Jason Bloomberg is the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise. As president of Intellyx, Mr. Bloomberg brings his years of thought leadership in the areas of Cloud Computing, Enterprise Architecture, and Service-Oriented Architecture to a global clientele of business executives, architects, software vendors, and Cloud service providers looking to achieve technology-enabled business agility across their organizations and for their customers. His latest book, The Agile Architecture Revolution (John Wiley & Sons, 2013), sets the stage for Mr. Bloomberg’s groundbreaking Agile Architecture vision.

Mr. Bloomberg is perhaps best known for his twelve years at ZapThink, where he created and delivered the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) SOA course and associated credential, certifying over 1,700 professionals worldwide. He is one of the original Managing Partners of ZapThink LLC, the leading SOA advisory and analysis firm, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in 2011. He now runs the successor to the LZA program, the Bloomberg Agile Architecture Course, around the world.

Mr. Bloomberg is a frequent conference speaker and prolific writer. He has published over 500 articles, spoken at over 300 conferences, Webinars, and other events, and has been quoted in the press over 1,400 times as the leading expert on agile approaches to architecture in the enterprise.

Mr. Bloomberg’s previous book, Service Orient or Be Doomed! How Service Orientation Will Change Your Business (John Wiley & Sons, 2006, coauthored with Ron Schmelzer), is recognized as the leading business book on Service Orientation. He also co-authored the books XML and Web Services Unleashed (SAMS Publishing, 2002), and Web Page Scripting Techniques (Hayden Books, 1996).

Prior to ZapThink, Mr. Bloomberg built a diverse background in eBusiness technology management and industry analysis, including serving as a senior analyst in IDC’s eBusiness Advisory group, as well as holding eBusiness management positions at USWeb/CKS (later marchFIRST) and WaveBend Solutions (now Hitachi Consulting).