Research Papers

Abstract

To create value from the increasing amount of data produced by the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), many firms establish platforms to collect data and make it available to third parties. Thus, IIoT platforms rely on a diverse ecosystem of complementors for value creation. While platform ecosystems have received considerable attention in research, most studies focus on the platform owner and domains such as video game or mobile platforms. In this article, we conducted a case study to shed light on why complementors choose specific IIoT platforms and how they leverage IIoT platform ecosystems for their benefit. To this end, we collected interview data from 15 firms that provide complementary offerings to an IIoT platform. We identified platform owner relationship, platform owner background, customer decision, platform market position, and platform features as vital criteria for platform choice. Additionally, our findings show that complementors leverage IIoT platforms primarily as a technological basis for individual solutions but not as a marketplace for generic applications. Our study extends research on platform ecosystems by illuminating the complementors’ perspective and adding insights from the IIoT domain. Additionally, our findings provide guidance for platform owners on how to design IIoT platform business models and facilitate leverage.

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