The Platform Owner’s Challenge to Capture Value – Insights from a Business-to-Business IT Platform

Maximilian Schreieck, Manuel Wiesche, and Helmut Krcmar (2017) – Thirty Eighth International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS)


IS research has acknowledged the increasing importance of IT platforms. While substantial insights on value co-creation between the platform owner and complementors have been established, the platform owner’s challenge to capture value remains largely unaddressed. We therefore conduct an exploratory field study of an enterprise software vendor who has launched a business-to-business IT platform. Conducting 27 interviews with actors involved in the platform ecosystem, we derive three distinct mechanisms of value capture: absorption, co-selling, and verticalization. We interpret how these mechanisms of value capture in turn affect value co-creation. With our results, we, first, enhance literature on value in IT platforms by adding mechanisms of value capture to the already established mechanisms of value co-creation. Second, we contribute to the discussion on the impact of digital business strategies on firm performance by showing that an organization that implements an IT platform needs to consider value co-creation and value capture jointly.

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