The last few years have seen computing platforms evolve at breakneck speed, so much so that choosing the right one is now becoming increasingly difficult.
This has led many IT decision-makers to ask themselves: “How can I efficiently upgrade my company’s current IT infrastructure?” and, more importantly, “How do I stay up to date with the latest technologies?” The choice usually boils down to: maintaining the status quo, connecting your platforms together, upgrading them or rebuilding your IT infrastructure from scratch.
Let’s look at the different types of computing platforms as well as the steps required to make an educated decision and innovate.
The Evolution of Platforms over Time
To understand how to properly evolve and upgrade your computing platforms, it is important to know the differences between the three main types of platforms that have been developed over time.
1. Integrated Platforms
As their name implies, these proven, longstanding platforms refer to all-in-one systems. Even though they are not very malleable, their robustness has made them a central element when it comes to managing business operations. In fact, to this day, these platforms can still meet most of the management requirements of large companies, namely in terms of managing finances and operations. For example, think of integrated management software such as Oracle or SAP.
2. Best of Breed Platforms
After integrated platforms, we saw the emergence of Best of breed platforms, which were designed to meet very specific business requirements. Unlike general-purpose software, best of breed platforms are not meant to offer several functionalities – they are often designed to meet the specific requirements of specialized sectors, such as human resources (HR), finance, production, marketing or internal communications. . Shopify and Mailchimp
3. Custom-built Platforms
By constantly seeking to innovate and differentiate themselves from their competitors, companies turned to customized platforms in order to manage their complexity and unique requirements. For some, this type of solution offered the perfect combination of flexibility, innovation and agility. Furthermore, thanks to custom development, platforms can now be linked together in order to communicate with each other.
Hybrid Platforms become Game Changers
Unfortunately, platform integration costs often rapidly became substantial. However, thanks to the advancement of integration technologies and the proliferation of out-of-the-box connectors, it is now easier than ever to link several platforms together.
For this reason alone, the use of a hybrid architecture is clearly an interesting avenue to exploit. It allows you to keep your existing systems (entirely or partially) and add other customized or best of breed applications to your existing infrastructure.
Traditionally used independently, these three types of software have finally converged to create a platform architecture that makes the most out of the benefits of each solution. In other words, hybrid platforms are the result of an assessment of existing solutions in order to: preserve their key functionalities, create the ones that are missing and even connect to other systems. Each technological solution is unique and maximizes investments while addressing future requirements.
Since they can be deployed on both the Web and the Cloud, hybrid platforms are highly agile and centralizing solutions that save a lot of time and money. The benefits for companies are numerous and address many of the challenges regarding digital transformation, customer experience, employee experience and the management of external partners.
With the arrival of several disruptors in the landscape of new technologies, such as Netflix, Uber and Airbnb, the ways of doing things we thought were carved in stone have now been shattered. These new models have completely transformed how we use technological platforms, imposed innovation in our business activities and cultivated a need to quickly deploy new features in order to be more competitive.
As a matter of fact, your company no longer has a choice to innovate when dealing with today’s business reality. Cost, competitiveness and efficiency issues have become paramount. Furthermore, everything moves so fast you must constantly adapt to simply keep up with current times! The only question is: How can you innovate and ensure that your platforms can support your innovation choices? Let’s take a look.
Most Important Steps to Make the Right Decisions
Gather your IT experts and take the time to ask yourselves this very important question: which of our current platforms are the most efficient and least efficient? What purpose does each one serve? How useful is each one? The key is to optimally harmonize your company’s platforms, technologies and processes.
2. Analyzing your Future Requirements :
What do you want to become? What are the new or existing processes you want to transpose to digital? Try to develop innovative solutions that fit well with what you want to be in the long run. Remember: Not all platforms will fit your vision. When in doubt, don’t be afraid to reach out to specialists.
3. Assessing your Internal Capacity:
Do you have the right tools to achieve your business vision? Will your platforms and your IT personnel be able to support this transformation? How quickly do you want to implement this vision? Each answer to these questions will directly influence your choices when it comes to the evolution of your computing platforms.
Key Decision-making Factors to Consider
In order to carry out your reflection on the type evolution to bet on, you must also base yourself on the following important decisional factors:
1. Your Budget
Determine with your company’s decision-makers the budget you want to allocate to update your systems. Also, ask yourselves if you consider this and expense or an investment. Furthermore, try to find ways to monetize this transformation.
2. Your Internal Level of Technological Expertise
Several decision-makers try to carry out major innovation and transformation projects without having the in-house level of expertise required to achieve them efficiently and optimally. Take the time to paint an honest and realistic portrait of your IT teams’ level of expertise.
This is an aspect that is unfortunately often overlooked. However, maintenance should be regarded as an investment of the utmost importance when evaluating your requirements and budget. The security of your data, as well as the efficiency and sustainability of your platforms directly depend on your maintenance investments.
4. Your Business Requirements
Why do you want to transform your technological platforms? What business requirements will this digital transformation address? These are two fundamental questions to precisely determine the type strategy to put forward.
Add your Personal Touch to your Innovations
As you’ve probably understood, it’s no secret that each case is unique and there is no magic recipe or omnipotent platform that can meet all your business requirements. Therefore, it is important to sometimes veer off the beaten path and, who knows, eventually become the next disrupter that will help shape your industry and drive technological innovation forward! You will be able to introduce Agility to your activities, deploy quicker and foster quick wins.
To do so, bet on these three poles that will guide your choices when it comes to Agility:
- The different available platforms
- Your differentiating factors
- User experience
Finding the right dosage in this triad will allow you to be more efficient. Most importantly, do not hesitate to combine different management methods to innovate your own way!
Contact Logient : A specialized team that can help you define the best strategy for developing digital and technological solutions for your business.