This is the era of the digital platform – open and automated, they connect consumers and suppliers in new and exciting ways. There is also a new breed of customer who expects near instant service. Platform based services are found in nearly all customer facing operations from financial services to healthcare, travel and tourism.
Full digital connectivity is where society is headed – having our mobile phones connected to other devices in a seamless way is a key component in the way we run our day to day lives. The success of the Apple iOS is a prime example of PaaS in action: open-ended and collaborative platform that has generated countless new companies and products.
Platforms usher in a new era of collaboration and partnership opportunities that help consumers and businesses traverse traditional industry boundaries. Platforms will automate repetitive and routine tasks, freeing both employers and employees to prioritise creativity and innovation. Platform based technology allows us to re-organise existing structures and relationships within business, allowing a business landscape that is open to new ways of operating and working together.
For suppliers and businesses it helps reduce the problem of data silos and disparate systems and ways of working. Platforms unify both the consumer and supplier journey in a way makes sense. There is inherent value in the data companies hold about the behaviour and buying habits of their customers. Platform based systems form part of the solution and they can also support new ways of working to find the answer to these common business problems.
The power of the platform concept lies rather in connecting all parts of a product or service’s lifecycle, using one united system to make everyone’s life easier. It is a new way of thinking about software and IT solutions that prioritises connecting people and helping companies get closer to their potential customers.