Artificial intelligence (AI) is emerging to become a highly potential enabling technology for smart buildings. However, the development of AI applications quite often follows a traditional, closed, and product-oriented approach. This study aims to introduce the platform model and ecosystem thinking to the development of AI-enabled smart buildings. The study identifies the needs for a user-oriented digital service ecosystem and business model in the smart building sector in Finland, which aimed to facilitate the launch of scalable businesses and an experiential and dynamic business ecosystem. A multi-method, interpretive case study was applied in the focal ecosystem, with the leading real estate and facility management operators in Northern Europe as part of a Finnish national innovation project. Our results propose an extended comprehensive framework of the 5C ecosystemic model (Connection, Content, Computation, Context, and Commerce) and the possible paths of ecosystem players in the domain of smart building and smart built environment, both theoretically and empirically. The platform-oriented business models are missing, yet desired, by the ecosystem actors. The value chain and ecosystem platforms imply the quest for new (platform) models. Finally, our research discusses the need for new value-chain- and ecosystem-oriented AI development and big data platforms in the future.
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