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ItemRoadblocks to Implementing Modern Digital Infrastructure: Exploratory Study of API Deployment in Large Organizations( 2021-01-05)Application programming interfaces (APIs) are an important component of digital infrastructure. Extensively employed in diverse industries, APIs are a boundary resource that enables new business models, enhances efficiency, and generates new sources of revenue. As little is known about how organizations deploy APIs, we conducted an exploratory examination of organizational deployment challenges of this important component of digital infrastructure. Analysis of semi-structured interview data collected within two large organizations reveals managerial challenges involving data, incentives, shared knowledge, and supplier management. Overall, our study contributes to knowledge about boundary resources while informing management practice concerning this emergent business imperative in the fourth industrial revolution.
ItemQuest for Control: Managing Software Development in Networked Operating Environments( 2021-01-05)Instead of developing software purely within the confines of one company, software companies increasingly procure many of the functionalities of their software from external entities and actors via system integrations and utilizing resources provided by external application programming interfaces (APIs). In addition to the benefits that can be reaped via integrations and working in cooperation with other companies, this type of networked software development leads to a reduction of control for the individual companies. As a result, companies need to resort to specific strategies and practices that reduce the risks emerging from lack of control. By utilizing data collected from Finnish software companies, we map the factors that cause reduction of control, study why companies give away control, and identify the challenges surfacing from it. To tackle these issues, we identify two strategies that software companies can take to counter the reduction of control.
ItemFrom Suppliers to Complementors: Motivational Factors for Joining Industrial Internet of Things Platform Ecosystems( 2021-01-05)Spurred by the internet of things, industry firms are increasingly establishing platforms that animate an ecosystem of external actors to provide complementary offerings. But why do independent firms decide to join these ecosystems and to become complementors? The goal of this study is to disentangle their motivational factors in the context of the industrial internet of things. A theoretical framework is developed a priori based on the knowledge-based view of the firm and complementary logics. The framework is empirically explored using a case study design. Our results indicate that financial, technology, and knowledge gains positively influence the decision of complementors to join the ecosystem. Yet, our interviews reveal relative differences in motivations based on complementors’ uncertainty. Our findings contribute to the research on joining nascent digital platform ecosystems from a complementor perspective and the growing stream of research on industrial internet of things platforms.