Online platforms, such as search engines and social networks, are drivers of growth, innovation and competition. Enabling businesses and consumers to make the most of the opportunities created by the digital economy, online platforms have transformed our everyday lives.
The Government recently published a report entitled “Online Platforms and the Digital Single Market”. In the report it states that online platforms contribute an estimated €430bn to the EU economy each year, and provides the example of Google, where British businesses using Search and AdWords generated at least £11bn in economic activity.
Online platforms are great for businesses because they enable more efficient allocation of resources. By allowing organisations to share property, time and skills across online platforms, it’s possible to unlock previously unused, or under-used assets. According to research by PwC, this ‘sharing economy’ is currently worth £9bn and is set to rise to £230bn by 2025.
Furthermore, online platforms are great for boosting employment. According to the Government report, 500 SMEs and 10,000 jobs have been created over the last decade in France alone through the development of mobile apps sold on online platforms.
However, to operate online platforms you need consumer data, and this brings with it a set of challenges.