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ZDNet: Amazing Things Happen When IT and Business Leaders Collaborate

Marshall Van Alstyne



December 30, 2021

ZDNet recently featured insight co-authored by Marshall Van Alstyne, Professor of Information Systems, focusing on the positive correlation between the collaboration of IT and business professors which was showcased through a report done by PwC.

The article explains the significance of leaders investing in process automation, allowing employees to accomplish tasks faster. Marshall and his co-author detail the positive impact a platform strategy, which the co-authors call an ‘inverted firm,’ brings to organizations and its ability to open up value creation beyond the walls of the enterprise. Through their study, the authors found the network effects to be a major source of growth, stating that, “adding the ability to coordinate value creation and exchange — from user to user, partner to partner, and partner to user — is one way that traditional firms transform. It also provides means to scale. Transforming atoms to bits improves margins and reach. Transforming from inside to outside magnifies ideas and resources.”

Marshall Van Alstyne is a Questrom Professor of Management in Information Systems at Boston University Questrom School of Business and is one of the leading experts in network business models. He conducts research on information economics, covering such topics as communications markets, the economics of networks, intellectual property, social effects of technology, and productivity effects of information. As co-developer of the concept of “two-sided networks” he has been a major contributor to the theory of network effects, a set of ideas now taught worldwide. His co-authored article on the subject is a Harvard Business Review top 50 of all time. Awards include two patents, National Science Foundation IOC, SGER, SBIR, iCorp and Career Awards, and eight best paper awards. Articles or commentary have appeared in Science, Nature, Management Science, Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.