ROOTCLOUD: Customization vs. Standardization at an Industrial IoT Platform

Weiru Chen, Jiexiang Wang, Yitong Gong

Research output: Other contributionCase Studies


This case study examines the entrepreneurial journey of ROOTCLOUD, a visionary company focused on creating universal IIoT platforms to drive the transformation of China’s manufacturing industry. By enabling its clients with digital solutions, ROOTCLOUD also enhanced the capabilities of its own platform, which further increased its value proposition. The company’s comprehensive range of IIoT solutions spanned heavy equipment aftermarket, manufacturing equipment management, industry-wide intelligent equipment management, and intelligent manufacturing. However, throughout its history, ROOTCLOUD grappled with the challenge of aligning its vision with market demand, which eventually led to a strategic crossroads: Should the company focus on becoming profitable quickly by establishing itself as the leader of a sub-sector? Or should it seek greater scalability by developing a universal platform that could lay down a “digital foundation” for manufacturers from all sectors?
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2023

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Case type

Field Case

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Published by

China Europe International Business School


  • industrial Internet platform
  • digital empowerment
  • product-market fit
  • ambidexterity
  • lean startup

Case studies discipline

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Information Technology
  • Strategy

Case studies industry

  • Information, Media & Telecommunications
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services


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