The delivery of enjoyable, informed, and secure applications can accelerate digital transformation and increase business value
The overall size and reach of an organization’s customer-facing and sales-supporting operations were critically important for most brick-and-mortar businesses of yesteryear. For example, the bank’s number of branches and ATMs tied to their location really mattered. These operating attributes once determined how well a company was positioned to serve its customers – the bigger, the broader, the better.
However, technological innovations and, more specifically, the rise of cloud computing have changed the game for many businesses. Taking this movement to a new level, the platform business model, rooted in hybrid and multi-cloud, continues to change how companies reach, serve, and delight their customers.
Gartner expects that by 2026, 80% of software engineering organizations will establish platform teams as providers of reusable services, components, and tools for application delivery. (1)
Technology has democratized many business models and opened the market for companies of all sizes to compete on a relatively level playing field. We have already seen this trend in rideshare services, grocery delivery, digital healthcare, open banking, and market trading, to name a few.
When supported by a well-organized platform engineering program, the platform business model can be the great equalizer for widespread digital transformation, where companies of all shapes and sizes can extract real benefits from an investment in a platform engineering program. The immense potential of platform engineering is what led Gartner to name it a Top Strategic Technology Trend for 2023 (2) , stating that, “Platform engineering is an emerging technology approach that can accelerate the delivery of applications and the pace at which they produce business value.” (1)
Deliver access to new features
In a platform engineering program, the platform team is tasked with understanding the business objectives and connecting them to the delivery needs of their developers alongside the management and maintenance needs of the operations team. This frees developers to self-service shared services and features and to prioritize their custom application features using a platform that is useful to the target audience. It also frees the operations team to focus on increasing performance, scalability, and reliability for all platform users.
Expand access to more data
Data is at the core of the platform business model, acting as the fuel for the business. Platforms make it possible for data to be curated, generated, retrieved, and analyzed by non-technical people in every corner of the company without knowing how it is structured, where it’s located, or what format it is in. When this happens, businesses can put the power of transformation in the hands of their developers and their customers.
Improve security, privacy, and compliance
A platform architected and designed with precise controls and guardrails defined in alignment with business policies, industry standards, and government regulations can keep the otherwise overwhelming workload of keeping the operating environment safe from cyber-attacks, clear of misconfigurations, and in line with compliance requirements. Security, privacy, and compliance can shift from a pure business expense column to become a market differentiator for the company.
Improve the user experience in more ways and places
Applications are the windows to the platform business model. They can be designed to open up new user workflows and experiences that increase success in customer decision-making and transactions that ultimately generate revenue and accelerate other critical business outcomes.
Apps built on a platform engineered to support the business tend to be simpler to access and use. Developers can focus on creating applications that customers enjoy using instead of trying to get all the infrastructure elements to work across the entire infrastructure – in the cloud, on-premises, and from mobile to the web.
Equalizing for transformation
If your company is looking for the best possible return on your digital transformation, consider investing in a platform engineering program so you can achieve:
To learn more, we invite you to read the Principles and Benefits of Platform Engineering to see how your company can participate and accel in this great equalizer movement.
1 – What Is Platform Engineering, Gartner, October 2022
2 – Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2023: Platform Engineering, Gartner, Oct 2022