AP1: Platform and Ecosystem Governance

The governance of platform-based service marketplaces is a new research field of business informatics (Manner 2014). Successful platform-based service marketplaces such as the Apple App Store have revolutionized the way of IT service provision and led to a significant competitive advantage for their providers. Through the integration of external developers they not only foster innovations, but also provide a rich portfolio of mobile services. Therefore, also other industries like the automotive industry investigate their potential.

The ecosystem of platform-based service marketplaces is highly dynamic, which requires high competencies of the marketplace providers regarding governance to ensure continuous success. Despite the relevance of platform-based service marketplaces, due to their novelty, dynamicity and interdisciplinarity as a sociotechnical phenomenon only few empirical results are available. Furthermore, there doesn’t exist a generally accepted theoretical basis regarding their governance. A general challenge for the platform operator is on the one hand to keep sufficient control to secure the integrity of the platform and on the other hand to give off enough control to enable innovation through the developers of the platform modules (Tiwana et al. 2010, 683).

Examples for practice-related questions are possibilities of co-determination and mediation between end user, third-party developers and platform operators (e.g. developer community, user feedback and partner feedback) as well as a methodology and a catalogue of measures in order to systematically increase the confidence of relevant stakeholders (third-party developers and public institutions) in the platform.