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Christoph Ruckstuhl NZZ

The waves of digitization cannot be ignored by the “old” industry. “Datafication” and “platformization” are the key developments. They are increasingly becoming the key value drivers — especially for SMEs.

Digitization seems to be gradually catching up with all sectors of the economy, including industry. And indeed, the transformation in the various industries follows similar rules. Datafication and platformization are the key developments. Data is increasingly becoming a key value driver, even in industry.

The added value arises from the collection of data by sensors as well as the use of artificial intelligence in development, production and sales. In turn, platformization is fundamentally transforming industrial logic: away from traditional value chains to integrated ecosystems where partnering with companies from different industries becomes a competitive advantage. …

Digitalization is a truly global phenomenon with the co-evolvement of different digital ecosystems. Which digital ecosystems will eventually prevail?

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For the first time in the history of digitalization, different powerful digital ecosystems have emerged in parallel and are now battling for dominance across the globe (Economist, 2017). It is FAAAM vs. BAT, that is, Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet, Apple, and Microsoft vs. Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent (many more players exist in both ecosystems but these companies play major roles and can be considered pars pro toto) or the US vs. the Chinese digital ecosystem.

At the same time, other economic super-powers such as Europe and Japan have not been able to participate successfully in the race for dominance. Rather, they have become part of FAAAM territory and are forced to stand on the sidelines, watching the two ecosystems battling in other parts of the world like India or Southeast Asia. …


Michael Hilb

Entrepreneur, Board Member and Professor |

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