Digital platforms, such as Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, face two major challenges in maintaining their competitive positions. First, the ever-increasing variety of thirdparty apps risks fragmenting a platform and requires the platform owner to use controls to maintain platform unity. Second, a too-open approach may invite competitors to exploit a platform. A balanced digital platform strategy requires a platform owner to deploy four tactics—leverage, control, exploit, and defense—to make the necessary trade-offs between variety and unity, and open and closed.
Karhu, K., Gustafsson, R., Eaton, B., Henfridsson, O., & Sørensen, C. (2020). Four Tactics for Implementing a Balanced Digital Platform Strategy. MIS Quarterly Executive, 19(2), 105-120. https://doi.org/10.17705/2msqe.00027