Today, platforms dominate the market as businesses increasingly rely on them to enhance efficiency, automate processes and maintain a competitive edge. In fact, they are so prevalent that many businesses will try to customize and connect various platforms to combine key capabilities in one place. This practice has become more common as businesses depend on technology to mold to their unique needs. Before companies can platformize their business, it is crucial to understand what a platform is, how it can benefit your business and what to consider before adopting one.
A platform can refer to an interface that connects users, resources, and tools through fewer individual touchpoints. But to understand this concept, it’s a lot easier to look at an example.
Airbnb is an application that connects renters, property owners, and vast numbers of listings all in one location. Plus, it handles everything from research to payment using one set of tools.
The purpose of a platform is two-fold. First, it integrates and standardizes data. Second, it locates that data someplace that can scale upward easily. The goal is to create a tool that is useful for a larger number of users completing a variety of workflows.
Platformization is the event in which a company alters or customizes the structures of a platform to better accommodate its mission. Businesses have proliferated platformization due to increased data production, enhanced computing capabilities that enable individuals to utilize that data and the ability to potentially connect certain platforms.
Digital platforms can streamline operations, cut costs, lower stress and reduce errors. But where they really have value is in their ability to accelerate growth. Platforms facilitate communication and collaboration, leading directly to innovation and acceleration. By synchronizing the efforts of all, they maximize the efforts of each.
Selecting the right technology for any business is crucial to aid growth by eliminating process challenges and boosting productivity. Companies that adopt platforms are typically more flexible, have the power to automate manual tasks and are empowered to innovate as the platform evolves with the companies’ changing needs.
The cloud platform is optimal for most businesses because of its flexibility, scalability and security. With the flexibility of the cloud, businesses can modify their systems based on their company’s unique needs. They can quickly scale up or down without having to purchase all new infrastructure that will soon become outdated. Additionally, migrating to the cloud reduces end-of-life concerns since software applications are regularly updated.
Adopting the cloud is also advantageous to businesses since they can integrate their products with other digital platforms. For example, many companies utilize a variety of software applications that are used for different business functions. With the cloud, companies can connect their disparate systems to gain visibility into their operations and eliminate labor-intensive processes. They are also enabled to innovate faster and enhance overall efficiency as integrated systems provide a single source of truth with real-time data.
Lastly, the cloud is beneficial to businesses because of the advanced security it provides. Between the public and private cloud options, businesses can choose how they want their data to be managed. With the private cloud, companies have full control over their own data and security. They have access to security features such as identity and access management, encryption and firewalls. With the public cloud, a company’s security is managed for them by cloud security experts. These experts help detect threats in real-time and understand how to mitigate security risks. Whether a business chooses to utilize the private or public cloud, both options provide companies with enhanced data security.
Baker Tilly Digital has vast industry experience and can help your business wherever you are in your digital transformation journey.