What is a Platform Strategist?

What is a Platform Strategist?

A platform strategist is expected to perform reponsibility for firm strategy through the lens of platform dynamics and logic. They must formulate the strategy to develop new businesses in high priority areas and be able to prioritize and build the evidence-based case for the business benefits and how it will be achieved. This can be particularly challenging in incumbent companies because it requires a shift in mindset and ways of creating value.

A platform strategists is typically expected to lead cross-functional teams that consist of a business unit and functional team members while listening to input from key external partners. They engage product managers and product owners to ensure the platform strategy is prioritized for both delivery and consumption. But their core role is to support the CEO and executive management team with resource allocation, performance management, and business reviews.

A recent platform strategy position posted for a Senior Manager- Platform Strategy by American Express stated that the ideal candidate would:

“help drive the vision and adoption of the suite offerings. You will combine a deep understanding of the platform with external industry research to identify and drive new growth areas like open sourcing and new product development. Additionally, you will help develop a product management center of excellence and playbooks for best practices. You’ll work among top performing engineering, design and product teams. We are looking for someone who is highly strategic, with strong communication skills, and enjoys working at the intersection of tech and business. The ideal candidate will be a platform champion who enjoys working in white space, wearing multiple hats, and a dynamic environment.”

Relevant Articles

Rietveld, Joost, Melissa A. Schilling, and Cristiano Bellavitis. "Platform strategy: Managing ecosystem value through selective promotion of complements." Organization Science 30, no. 6 (2019): 1232-1251.

Karhu, K., Gustafsson, R., Eaton, B., Henfridsson, O. and Sørensen, C., "Four Tactics for Implementing a Balanced Digital Platform Strategy. MIS Quarterly Executive, 19(2), (2020) p.4.