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Platform report outlines threats, opportunities

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As 2020 arrives, platforms are dominating the business world. The five most valuable companies in the world are platform businesses. Amazon processes 44% of all online e-commerce sales. Facebook and Google control 84% of global online advertising. If your industry hasn’t already been rocked by platform transformation, there’s a good chance it will be eventually.

With growth comes new challenges for platform businesses, including regulatory constraints, growth pressures, a shift to enterprise markets, and technology disruptions. These threats, opportunities, and more were addressed at the 2019 Platform Strategy summit, an annual gathering of business and academic leaders.

A new report from the summit features insights from MIT researchers and a variety of speakers, from platform pioneers to the leaders of established businesses that are embracing platforms. On one hand, executives from Facebook, Amazon Web Services, and the Chinese company Zhu Bajie, one of the largest online labor markets in the world, talked about new forces pushing on the platform economy. Leaders from well-established companies shared how they are embracing platforms in an effort keep up: Barclays, a 328-year-old British financial institution, has adopted an ambitious platform strategy, while Albertsons, an Idaho-based grocery chain, is working to compete against other online grocery sellers.

The report also features industry insights on security threats that loom large with increasingly interconnected networks and the broad promise of 5G .

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