What is a digital platform? And should you care?

Digital platforms help businesses to enhance user experience in order to attract new customers and to unlock new channels and products or services.

Most organisations are adopting digital platforms for smart consumption of digital assets in order to maximise operational excellence, improve profitability, implement intelligent processes, monetise internal resources and enhance the customer experience. Also, digital platforms provide services which enables the IT and e-commerce organisations to quickly resolve issues and problems in order to provide higher levels of business user satisfaction at reduced cost.

They come in different flavours

While the term “digital platforms” includes anything from search engines (Google and Bing), to social platforms (Facebook and Snapchat), all the way to IaaS providers and PaaS providers (such as AWS and Azure), digitalised business technology is becoming increasingly refined.

When you look around, you will notice a few classes of digital platform:

  • Aggregation Platforms: Help facilitate transactions and connect users to data resources.
  • Social Platforms: Help in facilitating social interactions and connecting individuals to communities.
  • Mobilisation Platforms: Facilitate mobilisation and moving people to act together. This model tends to foster longer-term relationships to achieve shared goals.
  • Enterprise Platforms: Help to centralise and publish the wide variety of applications used with organisation in order to improve management and control of the IT investment but also to help employees quickly find the solutions they need.

There are, of course, many more examples and categories...

What makes a digital platform good?

The platform you choose is going to have to meet a variety of needs but some of the most important aspects to look for include:

  • It has to scale elastically (ideally automatically) and offer a range of entry touch-points
  • It should be able to support one to millions of customers
  • It must enable global, distributed large and small organisations
  • It's going to have to integrate with the business processes of growing numbers of partners, suppliers and even competitors
  • Workflow, messaging and collaboration is key to ensure momentum and buy-in
  • If you're going to be interfacing with customers commercially, you've got to have a solid e-Commerce engine built in
  • Most importantly, security, privacy and data protection are paramount - especially if your digital platform is going to live in the Cloud.

Bottom line

The right digital platform will connect, inspire, put to work and support your people, your clients and your partners.

Author: Eugene Pfister

CEO, ReadyPlatform Technologies