MIT, Capgemini Invent Launch Research Series on B2B Platforms

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The MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy is a subsidiary of the American university and business school MIT, and focuses primarily on the impact of digital transformation on sectors, organizations and people. Since its founding in 2014 the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy has grown into one of the most cited think-tanks in its field.

Teaming up with Capgemini Invent, the consulting wing of Capgemini, a new research project has been launched with the aim of gaining deep insight into the state of the business-to-business (B2B) platforms market.

B2B platforms are – similar to B2C platforms – an online marketplace where a business sells goods and services to another business. The market potential for B2B platforms is huge, estimated by some analysts as multiple times the size of business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce. However, B2B platforms lag in terms of maturity.

“Although there are some similarities, it is clear that B2B platforms and ecosystems operate under a different set of conditions and economics from their B2C counterparts,” said Geoff Parker from the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. “This area is under-researched, so our aim is to shed some light on what it takes for organizations to successfully develop their B2B platforms and implement new business models.”

In their joint research series, the experts will explore the many lessons to be learned from the widely adopted B2C models currently enjoying success, and translate these ‘best practices’ into lessons learned for B2B platforms. The research scope will span a variety of sectors and industries on a global scale, including automotive, consumer products, healthcare, energy, smart home, and manufacturing.

Volker Darius, a Managing Director at Capgemini Invent. “Our joint research into this under-explored area highlights our shared commitment to better understanding the dynamics and ecosystems that drive success for organisations when designing, building, and operating business-to-business platforms.”

Previous research series the two companies worked on explored topics such as corporate innovation, the business case for digital technology, digital mastery (a maturity model for digital capabilities), and leadership in the digital age.