Over the last ten years, the use of platforms has led to major changes in consumer-oriented industries. Now, the platform economy is taking hold in industries targeting businesses.

What is a digital platform?

The term «digital platform » is currently being used for anything from simple data platforms to more advanced digital platforms. The common denominator for most platforms is the use of cloud technology to make various tasks easier.

(This article originally appeared in Norwegian as part of the "Lederblikk" series by Oslo Business Forum. You can read the Norwegian version here)

The simplest data platforms, such as DropBox, are designed to make a single feature easier and more accessible. The more advanced platforms can be seen as an industry version of the App Store: On such a platform, many different companies can develop content; but the platform owner takes responsibility for developing and integrating the basic functionality, such as storage, security, development methodology, and more advanced digital services across, all content.

This means that the developers can focus on developing and updating the features they want and do not need to consider all the additional practicalities. Consequently, a company will be able to get its products faster and cheaper to market by using such a platform.

What aspects are most important when you choose a digital platform?

Open standards and an open ecosystem

Open standards will make the integration of anything, from applications to systems and other digital platforms, quick and easy. If the platform has an open ecosystem, your developers can update and develop their own applications directly on the platform in collaboration with the platform owner, partners, or other platform users.

Data handling

A digital platform should be able to handle both historical and real-time data. If, in addition, the platform owner lets you own and access your own data, you will be able to use it for advanced analytics, for instance, and become more independent of the platform owner.


A platform that facilitates the use of different technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced analysis, will provide you with the greatest overall benefits, including reduced costs and greater efficiency.

Cloud-based solutions are the future

Cloud-based solutions will be the future standard for application delivery. And the platform services will enable us to use iterative processes allowing us to learn and develop based on the experiences we make along the way. This means that users can receive updates and new functionality on a more continuous basis.

A win-win for all

There are many good reasons for using a digital platform. Many, especially smaller, companies choose a digital platform for their applications because platform content will be noticed by more people. In other words, they will reach markets which otherwise would be out of reach for them.

More established companies often opt to use a digital platform to increase their efficiency and reduce their costs. They frequently realize that others could benefit from the solutions they have developed. In those cases, they can use the platform to commercialize their solutions and gain additional profits.

Last but not least, a platform that brings together technology and services across suppliers will produce greater gains for all its users. And those gains will entice more users to develop new functionality – which in turn will lead to yet greater gains. In this way, a digital platform can become an innovation arena.

About the author
Hege Skryseth

Hege Skryseth has worked for KONGSBERG since August 2013 holding various management positions within the Group’s corporate team. She has been the President of Kongsberg Digital, and Chief Digital Officer of KONGSBERG since March 2016. Skryseth also holds broad experience from several leading international technology companies and has been a board member for various organizations including her most current participation with eSmart Systems.