Digital platforms have sprung up like mushrooms. Every company that deals with digitization and Industry 4.0, has at least already thought about the potential use of their digital platform. Many are already on the market. There are numerous providers. The technology is mature and has been tried and tested thousands of times.
It is becoming increasingly difficult as a developer or manufacturer of new technologies and an implementer of digital platforms. On the one hand, the market is becoming more complex, but on the other hand, it also seems saturated. But that shouldn’t shouldn’t generally discourage you from doing your own thing. All that is necessary is that it can generate economic added value.
For example, you need a digital platform that acts as a hub between data, systems, and customers if you want to sell digital data and services. Methods, storage media, functions, applications, user interfaces, and system connections play decisive roles.
If you want to implement, develop or use such a digital platform, the following questions necessarily arise:
- How is the system data generated and transmitted?
- Where does the content come from?
- How are the users involved?
- How are technologies such as artificial intelligence or deep learning integrated?
- How is the data stored?
- How is the digital platform managed?
However, these questions mainly focus on technology and implementation. It isn’t easy to make money with this digital platform if you stick to these aspects.
Customers of digital data and services are more interested in the properties, functions, and characteristics of the digital products themselves. With its technical implementation, the platform is just a tool for selling digital products, just like the supermarket is the tool for buying analog products.
A purchase decision depends much more on the “right” content than on the right technology in the background because the digital platform becomes a digital ecosystem.
Therefore, the crucial questions for the content of digital ecosystems are:
- How is the system integrated into the content?
- How is the content created?
- What content do users demand and use?
- What content is necessary?
What Is The “Right” Content?
Let’sLet’s Blunt: Any content that makes money is the “right” content.
But what exactly is content? According to the definition of meaning in the Duden, it is about “qualified content or information content.” The term “content” was primarily used in website development and spilled over with digitization to Industry 4.0, where the word takes on the meaning of “relevant data content.” The digitized world is about data with meaning and with specific data structures.
For “predictive maintenance, “a maintenance strategy famous in Industry 4.0, data and algorithms are required for monitoring, troubleshooting and troubleshooting. These algorithms and data are content. From our point of view, this content offers added value with which you can also earn money.
The same goes for:
- For commissioning algorithms for systems and products,
- for upgrades and optimizations for functions and algorithms and
- for data for the maintenance or inspection of plants and products.
Content can be created and used by the system, customers, and functions.
If you analyze the content of leading companies and products, you can identify unique characteristics of the “right” content. If successful, it is structured by experts, designed by professionals, connects the systems in terms of content, is used by functions, is used by customers, is affordable, and – above all – is paid for.
How Do You Get The
“”right”” content for a digital ecosystem?
The following tasks are derived from the above characteristics:
- 1. Define and structure content
- 2. Design content methodically
- 3. Connect systems
- 4. Use content for functions
- 5. Make content usable
- 6. Develop a payment model
Task 1: Define And Structure The Content For The Digital Ecosystem
It is not the platform that decides what the content has to look like, but vice versa. It should be selected based on the content and how the digital medium must be implemented. Based on the customer’s requirements for the functions and data, the content must be developed to be used in the parts of the digital platform (see Task 4). It is imperative to ensure that the functions can be implemented appropriately with the data format. Therefore, it is necessary to deal in detail with the data to be sold, clearly define its digital structures, and decide on a suitable data format.
A popular data format is XML. The data can be well structured here. Also, this data format can be ideally used in digital projects. But any other data format is also suitable, as long as the system can handle it.
Task 2: Design Content Using Suitable Methods
After the content structure has been defined, the focus is on how it should be generated. The effort required for this should not be underestimated; it is a digital product. Since highly qualified programmers usually do not necessarily have the necessary content-related expertise, it is advisable to have the content created by experts. They can use simple and visual methods and follow suitable procedures and processes until specified quality standards are achieved.
Standardized steps for content creation have proven their worth, such as:
- visualize the system,
- defining the problem and
- designing the solution.
Task 3: Connect Systems For Content
In a world of digitization and Industry 4.0, the content is closely linked to the product’s production process and functionality. Therefore, interfaces between the system, development, production, and content must be precisely defined.
It is necessary to analyze how the technical system generates the data, how it gets into the content system, and finally, how it is connected to the content.
It’sIt’s not just about the physical layer like USB or Ethernet. But above all, about the data that is transmitted via these interfaces.
In the above example of “Predictive Maintenance,” this task must specify which information and measured values are to be read out and stored cyclically from the system or product (monitoring) so that the following functions can process and use them.
Task 4: Use Content For Functions In The Digital Platform
The content cannot always be passed on in its original form. Processing often occurs in special functions of downstream systems, artificial intelligence, or databases. The content developed in other methods must be suitable for this processing (see task 1).
For “predictive maintenance,” the data is transferred to artificial intelligence, which then uses detailed data and algorithms to calculate and return the probability of error causes.
Task 5: Make Content Usable For Customers
The customers decide on the form and nature of the content. In this way, they become the decision-makers for digital products.
Similar to the supermarket, where the customer decides which products to buy.
It should be regularly observed and checked how customers use the content to derive improvements for the properties and structures of the content from the findings.
The development of a UX (User Experience) for the use of the data and algorithms by the customers can be the answer to:
- How should the customer receive data?
- How should he see, feel or hear the content?
- What should be the emotion that the content should trigger in the customer?
Task 6: Develop A Payment Model
The content is the digital product with which money is to be made. Content can lead to direct revenue because the customer pays for it directly. However, content can also lead to savings because a product or system can be produced more quickly, repaired, or more accessible to the market. The decision for a payment model should take both aspects into account.
For the example of “predictive maintenance,” the customer could pay for using the function in the form of a flat rate.
The content required and used by the customer forms the basis for business in digital ecosystems. The technology of the underlying digital platforms is of secondary importance as long as they fulfill their basic functionality.
The industry will only succeed in developing digital products based on data if the necessary content is created and used methodically. All characteristics for the “right” content should be taken into account.
Suppose the industry uses the existing experience, methods, and knowledge to create, market, and manage good content. In that case, it can be expected to master digitization, and success – especially economic success – will come quickly.