News & Updates

Open platforms: Keeping your app ecosystem relevant and competitive

By James MacTavish / November 30, 2014

Open App Ecosystems

Application ecosystems live and die by their relevance. No matter their purpose or strategy, it’s crucial that users find their devices and associated ecosystem’s essential to their tasks or needs. Exploring why more and more OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturers) are going open platform, we can begin to see the strengths this strategy provides both in the consumer and business markets.

Consumer Market

Consumers are increasingly choosing their devices based on not only the device itself, but the apps available, and the ability to customize to personal preference. Naturally, OEM’S can’t predict what consumers will want in apps, features, and services down the line. Open platforms resolve this issue by tapping into developers to ensure the ecosystem meets consumers needs, not only now but in the future as trends and needs ebb and flow. Consumers today expect their devices to also tie into numerous services besides the primary function of the device itself. For example, fitness wearables are also expected to tie into weather apps and additional work out applications, providing an extra layer of value added features that consumers demand. Utilizing a developer portal and open environment enables these types of innovations to flourish and integrate with devices, while OEM’s can still enforce and maintain the type of service they envisioned for their customers from the start.

Business Market

B2B OEM’s that serve a variety of different business can also benefit from open platforms. Most often B2B OEM’s have customers across multiple channels, value chains and a variety of verticals. These verticals don’t have a one size fits all when it comes to their app ecosystems and usual require customized solutions and specific apps for their businesses. An open approach provides the right mix of standardization, in addition to layers of deep differentiation being provided by enterprises and third parties. This is not to say that B2B OEM’s have to become a Google Play of sorts to provide a meaningful solution for a diverse client base, but encouraging app developers to support their ecosystems and more importantly their customers in meaningful ways is an incredible competitive advantage.

Ultimately, when it comes down to the brass tacks, OEM’s cannot and should not be expected to create all the software, apps, and solutions their customers expect today and years down the road. And the good part is they don’t have to. Embracing developers through a dev portal and open platform uniquely achieves an app ecosystem that matures with the device. With the ability to create curated experiences to meet OEM’s business models and the needs of their varied user base, open platforms are crucial to businesses providing relevant app ecosystems today and years down the road.