The article investigates digital platforms as a basis for business digitalization, tools which solve a problem of the efficiency increase in the business process, automate production processes, contribute to building optimal relations between the client and the company through a timely and innovative approach, which improves the company's image and brand, and reduces company costs. The platform is a qualitatively new product that allows companies to reach a new level of development and efficiency by integrating with the chosen digital environment. It has become more obvious that the digital platform is a key element of the company's development, since it integrates all processes into a single unit, significantly reducing costs of digitalization and increasing the speed of changes in business systems. It was found that platform participants interact within the framework of a win-win idea, that is, on the basis of mutually beneficial cooperation in a single global goal. It was clarified that the digital platform is being created as part of a digital transformation project. An explanation is given for the fact that the implementation of a platform solution can take the form of a project or a set of projects, or it can be carried out in other forms, for example, using Agile approach. Digital platforms are the future as their use will lead to the maximum automation of business processes, an increase in the predictability of malfunctions and possible accidents, and the identification of data of particular interest to the company.
Keywords: Digital platformsdigitalizationmanagementcompanyoptimization
Digital technologies are now being widely implemented in all spheres of life of the population. They encompass not only cutting-edge manufacturing enterprises or the economic sector as a whole, but they are also transforming the cultural sphere, increasing the capabilities of museums, libraries and theaters, expanding their target audience. Digitalization today is not a "fashionable trend", but a necessary tool for the development of companies in the era of the "creative" economy, within which the "digitization" of the socio-cultural sphere is being carried out. The basis of this economy is an idea that needs to be quickly implemented and presented in an original way. This is a kind of innovation. Over the past 10 years, the world trade in creative products has doubled and amounted to 624 billion dollars. But in addition to economic benefits, the creative economy forms intangible values and focuses on the person himself, ensuring sustainable development. Digital platforms and the creative economy are interconnected processes that take place simultaneously. All countries in the global information technology race are trying to respond promptly to innovations and develop “products” that will bring a high “profit”, and most importantly - will resonate with the population. Thus, companies strive to timely introduce information technology into the business environment. Otherwise, the cost of the loss will be too high, as the client becomes choosier and begins to think in a digital, practical format. Transformation affects the entire business process, as digital platforms are fundamentally restructuring work processes, enhancing the quality of work and optimizing the activities of the business system. Digital platforms may be considered as a basis for the transformation of all economic sectors, a complex of relationships between participants in the digitalization process, which leads to a significant reduction in costs through the use of a digital technology package. This is a qualitatively new product that breaks the usual ways of doing business and changes the mindset of entrepreneurs and the entire business as a whole (Allen et al., 2019).
The practice of digital business knows the following types of digital platforms:
- instrumental: the product is used as a tool for developing technological solutions for information processing (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Bitrix),
- infrastructural: information service and the results of its work are the main information for making operational decisions in business (General Electric Predix),
- applied: the platform is engaged in the exchange of specified economic values in selected markets, based on transactions that fix the transactions between market participants (Uber, AirBnB, Facebook, Alibaba).
We may also distinguish between technological platforms (they provide access to IT resources and technologies, examples: Alibaba Cloud Computing, Microsoft Azure), functional platforms (they provide access to specialized tools – Exact farming, SAP), infrastructural platforms which provide access to digital infrastructure facilities (Iqdq.ru, Yandex-Maps), informational platforms (they provide informational access to the market – Avito, Yandex-Market), corporate platforms which optimize management processes (X5, GoCargo), industrial platforms (they optimize participants’ interactions – Smartcat, Cainiao), and marketplaces (they provide access to the market, providing interaction between the parties – Amazon, e-bay).
The classification of digital platforms may also look so: aggregated (Alibaba) and social (Facebook) platforms, mobilization (CRM) and training (YouTube) platforms. All of them become the basis for the formation of a digital market infrastructure, since they provide delivery of content and enables their users to process a large amount of information (Zutshi et al., 2019). The range of tasks solved with the help of platforms is quite wide: training, job search, exchange of video content, offering and purchasing goods and services. In a broader context, when a platform is built as a technological basis for an ecosystem of an entire sector or several sectors of the economy, its essence is better conveyed by another definition.
A digital platform is usually created as part of a digital transformation project, so it is important to understand the difference between a purely digital and a digital transformation project, especially in relation to developments carried out by the state. IP created or refined within the framework of digital projects does not always have to be a platform. However, this IC must be integrated with a third-party digital platform or use digital technology. It is on this basis that a separate subset of digital projects is distinguished from the total set of automation projects. At the same time, the implementation of a platform solution can take the form of a project or a set of projects, or it can be carried out in other forms, for example, using an Agile approach to management. A qualitative leap occurs when a digital platform is fully created and platform solutions are implemented on its basis. All processes of interaction between the subject (for example, executive authorities) and the client are included in the circuit of such a system in the form of executable algorithms. There is an opportunity to qualitatively collect metrics of the behaviour of the subject and the client, find a justified application of big data technologies, machine learning, decision-making based on data (Gribova et al., 2019).
If the project provides for the creation and refinement of an automated information system, then this is an automation project as a minimum. If such a system is integrated with one or more digital platforms, then this is already a digital project. And if an automated information system can be classified as a digital platform, then such a project is transformational. So, for example, platform solutions were applied in the field of public services in Russia (electronic sick leave, payments of child benefits to all citizens of the Russian Federation). These are systems that allow you to apply and receive various social services remotely. Several digital services of this kind emerged in 2020 in connection with the pandemic, but the proactive provision of public services using electronic services was a strategic direction for the digitalization of the social sphere even before the pandemic. For example, in April 2020, it was planned to switch to the unapproved issuance of certificates for maternity capital. This made it possible during the pandemic to effectively transfer many services related to the payment of benefits to a remote format. Other services have also been reorganized, such as registration of the unemployed and monitoring of the employment sector.
Business determines the most important criteria for itself when choosing a digital platform. The key argument is the existence of an information environment in which participants will interact with the information technology infrastructure at one time (Sedkaoui & Khelfaoui, 2020). All platform participants interact on the basis of mutually beneficial cooperation. The composition of the participants directly determines the scope of the workflow and is a key criterion. The platform allows a conventionally unlimited number of people to use its capabilities via the Internet and to solve their technological or functional tasks in an automated mode. This is its essential difference from other information systems, in particular from the internal automated IS (Radjenovic & Janjić, 2019). The creative economy was first named in early 2000 in the American magazine Business Week and immediately set the course for a non-ordinary approach that connects art, culture, business and technology. It accounts for about 3% of world GDP, more than 1% of the economically active population is involved in this sector, which makes a significant contribution to the development of the economic potential of countries (Newbigin, 2015).
Such an economy is characterized by the following features:
1. The high role of information technology.
2. High degree of uncertainty.
3. A large amount of data and an overabundance of information.
4. The need for constant generation of ideas and projects.
During the study, the following questions were resolved. The question was raised about the importance as a leading element of the company's business process. The issue of assessing the significance of business transformation through the introduction of platforms has been resolved. The question was raised about the definition of the types of platforms, the main features and their effectiveness. The issue of the relationship between digital platforms and the cumulative impact on the competitiveness of the entire business was considered. The issue was resolved about the importance of forming a digital market infrastructure through the management of big data motives. The issue of the contiguity of digital platforms and the creative economy was discussed. The issue of proactive business through the strategic approach of business innovation was considered.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study was to study digital platforms as the leading elements of the company's business process. The goal was also to assess the significance of business transformation through the introduction of platforms. The goal bordered on the definition of the types of platforms, the main features and their effectiveness. Also, the goal was an analytical assessment of the relationship between digital platforms and their impact on business competitiveness. The goal was to understand the differences between a purely digital and digital transformational project. The goal also included a comparison of digital platforms and the creative economy as the basis for increasing the country's innovative potential. The goal was also based on a strategic approach, namely in the socio-cultural sphere to visualize "proactive business", which is focused on change.
The authors considered digital platforms as a key element in the development of a company and optimization of management activities. The criteria for choosing a digital platform by synthesizing an information base were considered. An assessment was made on the influence degree of digital platforms on business processes. The real business practice of digital solutions application was studied in the framework of this research. To address these issues, some operating companies were considered, the key and most relevant digital platforms used in them were analyzed. An analytical assessment of the data was carried out by considering the practical results of the companies' activities, taking into account their final performance indicators. World rankings were analysed to assess the impact of digital platforms on the business optimization.
At the present stage of digital transformation, it is being integrated with "uberization". It is the process of working together between a mobile payment system and a digital marketing platform for business. Thus, the Plazius platform allows a consumer to pay a check at a restaurant directly in a mobile application, the operation takes a few seconds. In fact, it is a platform where business and service consumers meet in record time. More than 2,500 restaurants and shops and over 5.7 million customers already use this app. That is, the platform independently attracts customers, increasing the customer base, and retains it by analyzing the audience and the degree of its involvement in the shopping process. This increases the frequency of arrival of guests by 43-79%, and the average check grows by 35% (Sedkaoui, 2020).
Digitalization is also embracing industrial enterprises that are in the race to actively adopt digital platforms and products. So, Gazprom Neft PJSC has approved a course for digital transformation, which increases the flexibility and efficiency of business management through data and digital doubles of assets. This will lead to the coverage of the entire value chain and the development of our own solutions in the field of artificial intelligence, the industrial Internet of things, robotics, and unmanned aerial vehicles. The digital transformation management system involves the use of a systematic, programmatic approach. It is a set of major programs for changes in technological and operational processes at Gazprom Neft. Each of the programs is aimed at achieving key economic and business effects in the medium and long term (Gazprom, 2020). To ensure year-round and uninterrupted export of the entire volume of produced oil of the Arctic grades ARCO and "Novy Port", the company has created a unique digital Arctic logistics management system. The system monitors the movement of vessels in real time, forms the optimal schedule for the movement of the fleet and the shipment of oil from the terminals, and controls the parameters of the movement of each vessel at all stages of the voyage. The system analyses over 65 million possible options hourlies, takes into account about 300 parameters and allows real-time analysis of the fleet operation efficiency. The system contributed to a 15% reduction in unit costs for the export of raw materials from its northern fields.
For drivers, the use of a mobile application for ordering and paying for fuel at Gazpromneft filling stations reduces the time for refuelling a car by 1.5–2 times. Thanks to the release of the virtual card of the loyalty program "We are on the way" right in the application, it was possible to close the chain of interaction with the customer in digital format, and the "Refuel" button, which appeared in the gas station. GO and is now replicated on the network application, as well as on partner applications, allows car without leaving it. For corporate clients, it became possible to conclude an agreement with the company online, and clients can also issue virtual service cards in the mobile application, exchange documents without meeting with company managers – all operations are carried out in the OPTI24 personal account. So, completely digital clients appeared among legal entities.
The first in Russia integrated platform for processing, storing and analysing data with fully integrated data management components (Data Governance). The solution is designed to process and store large amounts of data, implement advanced analytics tasks, improve management efficiency, and most importantly, the quality of various data in the division responsible for the sales of Gazprom Neft motor fuels – now 50% of all analytical projects of the division are implemented on the basis of the platform. The project received the Global CIO Project of the Year 2019 and the CDO Award 2020.
The success of digital platforms implementation has shown significant growth in KPIs. As of the end of 2020, 30 digital transformation programs have been approved. The result of their reaching their design capacity will be the achievement of the declared economic effect of 3-5% of EBITDA annually, starting in 2022. Investments in the digital and IT transformation portfolio at the end of 2020 amounted to 5% of the total investment program of Gazprom Neft.
At Better World Summit 2020, Huawei unveiled a new cloud-based digital payment platform. It aims to help payment system operators build super-application-centric payment ecosystems that will expand access to digital financial services in emerging markets. It will definitely lay the foundation for the digital world. Everyone knows that ecosystem is the key to success in the mobile payments business. The Super application is the critical platform and hub for ecosystem partners to keep the marketplace running efficiently. The company believes that Huawei's cloud-based digital payment system will unite the payment platform and super-application, help mobile payment operators create ecosystems quickly and efficiently, and for this it is necessary to integrate the digital and physical world so that their platform can horizontally integrate new ICTs, artificial intelligence, cloud converged communications, and vertically connect devices, peripherals, the network and the cloud. This platform will help businesses reach the next level, as well as experience the benefits of adaptive adoption of new technologies. In Myanmar, Huawei, in partnership with KBZ Bank, launched KBZPay and successfully expanded it in 18 months to reach 6 million registered users, over 1,000 partners and over 290,000 merchants. KBZPay's transactions reached more than $ 7 billion, cementing KBZ Bank's status as the number one mobile payments service provider in Myanmar.
Russia has taken a course towards the development of a digital cultural environment, within which a qualitatively new level of development of cultural infrastructure will be ensured (federal project "Cultural Environment"), conditions will be created for the realization of the creative potential of the nation (federal project "Creative People"), digitalization of services will be carried out and an information space in the field of culture was formed (federal project "Digital Culture"). The project is aimed at increasing the attendance of cultural events by 15% (from 877.9 million people in 2017 to 1 billion 9 million 300 thousand people in 2024). At the same time, the number of calls to digital resources (virtual concert halls, model libraries with access to digital resources, online broadcasts) will increase 5 times compared to 2017, which confirms the relevance and need for digitalization of the cultural sphere. Also, the project provides for the restoration of buildings and cultural structures (over 600) and the opening of innovative cinemas (about 1300). It is important to note that the implementation timeline was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which significantly affected all processes and reoriented the business to the prompt implementation of digital technologies and platforms. (Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, 2020).
The emergence of new tools makes possible new forms of labour organization that were previously impossible. As participants in a unified information environment supported by a digital platform, various companies today can enter into contracts based on metrics that were previously impossible to track (Sedkaoui, 2020). New business models based on new forms of interaction and work organization are finding an ever-wider range of applications. In some areas, new economic models supplant old ones, but, as a rule, in most cases, the emergence of new models forces all participants to deepen their specialization and, ultimately, old and new models find a way of organic coexistence. It is in the areas of management and economics that it is necessary to look for the results of the impact of digitalization – this will be the digital economy. Digital platforms play a key role in the development of the creative economy. The rapid development of the information space requires the adaptation of all spheres of life to digitalization. The platforms greatly facilitate processes in all areas, including in the socio-cultural sphere, and help to attract a new audience. They create a unified platform where users get closer. The same tendency is observed among people getting closer to art, creativity, literature. This is the link between the “digital person” and traditional cultural venues.
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30 April 2021
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Socio-economic development, digital economy, management, public administration
Cite this article as:
Chevereva, S. A., & Popova, E. S. (2021). Digital Platforms In Modern Enterprise Management And In The "Creative Economy". In S. I. Ashmarina, V. V. Mantulenko, M. I. Inozemtsev, & E. L. Sidorenko (Eds.), Global Challenges and Prospects of The Modern Economic Development, vol 106. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1323-1329). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.04.02.157