When we think back to our youth, we were open to new experiences, embracing change was at the core of who we were. We weren’t encumbered by our past and our failures and the future was full of opportunity.
At Deloitte Platform Engineering, we can help companies to be young again, open to the challenges and opportunities that they face in a market that is constantly being disrupted by technology innovation and new business models.
Cloud computing and software-as-a-service herald new delivery models that can be accessed faster and at lower cost than traditional models. Used properly, these technologies can foster new levels of organizational agility, innovation and enable new digital business models. The way we use these technologies is by delivering them as a platforms in support of the business.
John Hagel in Deloitte’s Business Trends 2015 describes platforms as “help[ing] to make resources and participants more accessible to each other on an as-needed basis. Properly designed, they can become powerful catalysts for rich ecosystems.” Hagel highlights key elements that help support a platform include a well-defined governance structure as well as standards and protocols to facilitate connection, coordination and collaboration.
We apply this definition to the technology that underpins businesses and their ecosystems, whether it’s a new capability or as an approach to liberating the value in existing assets, to enable Companies to Be Young Again.
Architecting and deploying these resources (applications, data, infrastructure) as a platform allows participants to configure services to meet their needs. These platforms are self-contained and have a well-defined set of secure protocols and interfaces that facilitate collaboration with these participants, which could be other platforms, staff, customers and external organisations.
The benefits are clear when thinking about and deploying technology this way:
- Embracing the rapid changes in technology means that organisations are less likely to find themselves ‘painted into a corner’ with technologies that aren’t interoperable
- As platforms are self-contained, it isolates technologies into domains, allowing intra platform change to happen at a different pace to inter platform, without overly impacting each other
- This approach allows organisations to leverage lower cost technologies and services when they become available without having to incur substantial cost
- It allows the business to implement new ways of working, enabling them to respond to opportunities and threats in a way not possible before.
Technology platforms are a key enabler for organisational agility but they are only part of the solution, as the value of platforms is only truly unlocked when the entire organisation operates in the same way, following the same cadence.
The business needs to be configured in a manner to leverage these platforms, so that:
- Governance, risk and compliance becomes more agile, operating at speed, whilst still protecting the needs of stakeholders.
- Finance and investment aligns to the delivery of customer, and hence business, value.
- Teams, skills and culture are reimagined to leverage this new capability else run the risk of blocking delivery.
- Data and information is made available, when needed, to support the required speed of decision-making.
- The service model, across value chains, is flexible enough to respond to opportunities and counter threats.