Platform Ecosystems

Aligning Architecture, Governance, and Strategy


  • Amrit Tiwana, Professor, Terry College of Business, University of Georgia

Platform Ecosystems is a hands-on guide that offers a complete roadmap for designing and orchestrating vibrant software platform ecosystems. Unlike software products that are managed, the evolution of ecosystems and their myriad participants must be orchestrated through a thoughtful alignment of architecture and governance.
Whether you are an IT professional or a general manager, you will benefit from this book because platform strategy here lies at the intersection of software architecture and business strategy. It offers actionable tools to develop your own platform strategy, backed by original research, tangible metrics, rich data, and cases. You will learn how architectural choices create organically-evolvable, vibrant ecosystems. You will also learn to apply state-of-the-art research in software engineering, strategy, and evolutionary biology to leverage ecosystem dynamics unique to platforms. Read this book to learn how to:

  • Evolve software products and services into vibrant platform ecosystems
  • Orchestrate platform architecture and governance to sustain competitive advantage
  • Govern platform evolution using a powerful 3-dimensional framework

If you’re ready to transform platform strategy from newspaper gossip and business school theory to real-world competitive advantage, start right here!

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IT professionals responsible for creating and managing: (a) software-based platforms and (b) apps for those platforms.


Book information

  • Published: December 2013
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-408066-9


Platform Ecosystems provides an extremely innovative and insightful approach to decode the value creation of  platforms and apps. Amrit Tiwana has written a very provocative guide that will help every executive to reconsider their firms' strategic position and potential to deliver products and services via platforms. A must-read for anyone interested in the next generation business.  - Eric van Heck, Professor of Information Management and Markets, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University.

In “Platform Ecosystems,” Amrit Tiwana delivers a most timely and in-depth perspective of this exciting topic. Ecosystems are at the heart of all modern economic activity and the most powerful known ecosystems have a “platform” at their core, driven by a strong player leading their ecosystem, inviting and mutually boosting the value-add by other players. The combinatorial multipliers of successful ecosystem lead to the competition of entire ecosystems. Understanding the key drivers and mechanisms of platform ecosystems is critically important when contemplating competitive strategies.   - Clemens Szyperski, Microsoft

Table of Contents


PART I: The Rise of Platforms
1. The Rise of Platforms
2. Core Concepts and Principles
3. Why Platform Businesses are Unlike Product or Service Businesses
4. The Value Proposition of Platforms

PART II: Architecture and Governance
5. Platform Architecture
6. Platform Governance

PART III: Dynamics and Metrics of Ecosystem Evolution
7. Metrics of Evolution
8. Real Options Thinking
9. Modular Operators

PART IV: Orchestrating Evolution
10. Evolving a Platform
11. Evolving an App

PART V: The Road Ahead
12. Why Every Product is a Platform Waiting to Happen