There's a need for digital speed. Waiting for requirements from business or external partners to arrive is a recipe for disappointment: too little, too late, and irrelevant-on-arrival. Instead, provide a compelling digital platform with services that your own IT department can use. It will enable the business, its partners, and even its clients and consumers to rapidly build their own solutions while leveraging enterprise-grade data and services. As new developments are built on the platform to launch services with greater speed, they should add new, improved features to it as well. From now on, it’s Platform First!
- The clock pulse of the digital world requires different flavors of speed and agility in order to make solutions available. These include "train"-style dynamics for robust, predictable enterprise solutions and "scooter-style" dynamics for innovative, viable products
- Although the solutions may differ widely, they need to be connected and based on a corporate common ground to address security, privacy and integration.
- The future needs of the digital enterprise and its external ecosystem are impossible to predict. A requirements-driven approach is, by its very nature, too slow, and creates a gap between business and IT.
- A digital platform typically features APIs, open datasets, service catalogs, integration, frameworks, playbooks, tools, and development support.
- It supports self-service tools to quickly create solutions, but also features a high level of automation to ensure productivity and enterprise-level security and integration.
- It provides the "art of the digitally possible" to anybody that needs to develop solutions within the IT department, the business side, or externally.
- Create an overall architectural blueprint for the digital platform, but build it iteratively: a Minimum Viable Product will create early excitement and commitment while mitigating development risks.
- Make the platform applied: offer "internships" to internal and external stakeholders to jointly explore the platform services and create the first solutions. Consider setting up a platform center to accommodate this.
- Develop processes and incentives—and if necessary, directives—for using and contributing to the platform catalog.
- Handle the platform as a product that needs to be "commercially" marketed and managed.
- The platform mindset requires a thorough understanding of what drives both the supply and the demand sides of the platform; the number of enthusiastic, committed users ultimately determines it’s success.
- It also challenges the concept of central, requirements-driven development in favor of decentralized enablement.
- To a large degree, the platform determines the speed and agility level of the enterprise. It also is instrumental in raising its corporate IQ and digital trustworthiness.