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Digitization is driving startups and established companies alike to completely rethink their business models. Linking devices to online networks makes it possible to capture and analyze data. Companies that do not adapt to new circumstances and ignore the growing opportunities run the risk of getting left behind – or, in the worst-case scenario, losing their position in the market. This also holds true in the energy industry.

Until recently, the majority of new business models have emerged in the business-to-consumer sector. The most prominent examples come from internet giants like Amazon and Google, but travel websites and social networks are also involved. What they all have in common is that they do not themselves offer goods and services, but act “only” as a link between manufacturer and customer, and therefore supply and demand.

The Opportunities of IT Platforms Within a Sector

In contrast, the use of IT platforms in the B2B sector is still in its infancy, at least according to the results of a study from the German National Academy of Science and Engineering (Acatech). IT platforms still hold considerable potential for industrial companies – regardless of which sector they are active in. A few platform companies already operate in multiple industries. However, there is still some leeway within the industries themselves – especially for enterprises in the energy sector.

Keep Contact with Customers

To win the race for market leadership, companies must maintain rapport with customers. A company does not stand a chance if it gives up the direct link to its customer by passing them on to an IT platform host. “The drive should be to reach such a market position on one’s own,” describe the publishers of the study. The first step is to recognize any individual opportunities and risks – and then to develop the appropriate strategy for the company itself.

Connecting Industry Knowledge with IT Expertise

Companies that have long served in the energy industry have an advantage: their extensive knowledge in power generation, transmission, distribution, storage and energy management. The challenge for these companies is to grow their competence in IT platforms and combine it with their industry expertise. The first step: to expand their knowledge of software.

In order to advance the development of a platform, businesses can collaborate within an industry. This would allow them to pool their resources and efforts, with the main focus of creating a platform as quickly as possible.

Data-Driven Services or Disruption

In addition to an energy provider having the option to become its own host of an industry-specific IT platform, there are many more possibilities to enter the field of digital marketplaces. Companies are thus able to offer the infrastructure and technologies required to form the basis for a platform. In the digital age, however, they have to focus on developing new services based on data.

At HANNOVER MESSE, Energy , the leading trade fair for integrated energy systems and mobility, will offer a broad spectrum of forums, conferences and special events surrounding the themes of energy and the energy transition. It presents new approaches and offers you the chance to exchange ideas about current developments with the experts.