The scale of society’s evolving challenges gradually surpasses the capacity of the public sector to address them. Coping with these challenges requires budget-short governments to look for innovative ways to transform and improve their operations and service provisioning models. While in many cases transformation starts from the inside-out (based on policy goals) and focuses on reorganization through ICTs, we notice a different class of initiatives in which external ICT developments are capitalized by governments to transform from the outside-in. One category of ICT innovations that is especially promising for such a transformation is that of information platforms (henceforth platforms),which can be used to connect different stakeholders; public and private. Platforms are not new. Yet, there is not much research on using public–private platforms as part of a transformation effort, the (policy) instruments that are involved, nor about dealing with the cascading multi-level challenges that transformation through platforms offers. This paper addresses these knowledge gaps by drawing onempirical research embedded in two long-termendeavors: (1) standard business reporting between businesses and government agencies and (2) international trade information platforms. In both cases, platforms are being collaboratively developed and used by a collective of public and private organizations. These initiatives reveal that government agencies can steer and shape the development of public–private platforms in away that enables businesses to pursue their own interestwhilst transforming business–government interactions andmore generally serving collective interests and public value. Our findings indicate that once a public–private governance structure is accepted by stakeholders and adapted to fit with the technical dimensions of the information infrastructure, even platforms that are driven by the private sector can start to evolve in a way that enables extensive transformation of the operations of government.
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