Digital Transformation of Incumbent Pipeline Firms through Platformization

Divya Sharma, Neetu Yadav, Yogesh K. Dwivedi, and Mihalis Giannakis
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 28, Number 2, 2024, pp. 186-216


Advancements in digital technology necessitate a shift from traditional linear buyer-supplier value chains to a network-centric approach facilitated by digital platforms. Despite digital platforms being a dominant model for transformation, limited research has explored the enablers for incumbent pipeline firms to embrace platformization. To address this gap, this study reviews existing literature on digital transformation, identifying nine enablers for digital platformization: changing client behavior, information technology (IT) capabilities development, structural efficiencies, disruptive competitive forces, scope advantages, economic triggers, disruptive third-party technology, creation of autonomous corporate structures, and regulatory compliance. Case studies of platformization in diverse industries are analyzed using the modified total interpretive structural modeling (m-TISM) approach, resulting in a hierarchical model with five levels. This model delineates interrelationships among trigger events, external enablers, internal organizational enablers, process enablers, and outcome drivers. Furthermore, the study highlights that the creation and extraction of value from digital platforms are operationalized through e-business strategies, contributing insights to e-business literature by discussing the implications of these enablers on dimensions such as commerce, collaboration, communication, connection, and computing.