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Radical transformations in information management technology are presenting new opportunities for businesses to effectively manage data and develop innovative new services and business models that decrease time to market, create operational efficiencies and engage customers in new ways.
These disruptive changes have imposed a lot of pressure on enterprises to transform their fixed IT assets to a more scalable IT landscape that meets the demands of today's agile business models. This need, which is best realized in the cloud, is driving IT companies to rapidly adopt innovative sets of technologies that deliver a completely new platform primarily focused on flexibility, scalability, and growth.
Enterprises are jostling to seize the evolving opportunities enabled by technological advancements in the fields of cloud, mobile, social, and Big Data analytics in order to empower their decision-making processes as well as to leverage competitive advantages over their competition.
Leading organizations, according to IDC, are proactively responding to these new industry dynamics by undertaking digital transformation initiatives which are anticipated to intensify and accelerate over the next couple of years.
An Overview of Computing Platforms
The dawn of computing, or the 1st Platform, was focused around mainframes and terminals. Consequently, in the 1980s, the birth of personal computers (PCs) marked the beginning of a new era, the 2nd Platform, essentially defined by a new class of transformative applications such as the Ethernet, RDBMSs, Wintel servers, and the client/server model.
Today, as cloud platforms increasingly replace the client/server model, we find ourselves in the midst of a whole new transformation model — the 3rd Platform — characterized by mobile devices and apps, Big Data analytics, social technologies, and automated processes.
3rd Platform - The Basis of Digital Transformation
According to IDC forecasts, the 3rd Platform, built on the foundation of mobile, social, Big Data, and cloud technology, is expected to facilitate a fully scalable digital ecosystem across most industry verticals.
The platform will subsequently help forward-thinking IT leaders, industry strategists, and solution developers to dramatically conceive and create disruptive business models that will enable enterprises to reinvent their organizational processes and at the same time heighten their preparedness to rapidly adapt to the future trends.
Leverage Valuable Solutions in Industry-Specific Cloud Platforms
Cloud service platforms, marketplaces, and developer communities are the primary enablers of 3rd Platform solutions. Cloud service platforms, also known as platform-as-a-service (PaaS), play a pivotal role in supporting the 3rd Platform to sustain in the cloud.
It is immensely important for companies to utilize the cloud service platforms, because, in the future, such agile platforms will be a crucial determinant of an organization’s ability to quickly deliver market-ready solutions designed in accordance with the ever-changing needs and demands of the market.
The widely adopted cloud service platforms, which are generally horizontal in nature, were basically developed to serve a broad spectrum of cross-industry needs.
As major players from diverse industries increasingly started shifting from legacy systems to cloud platforms, the extremely agile and fluid nature of the platform, with time, influenced a plethora of shared developments that eventually led to the emergence of an entirely new species classified as "industry-specific cloud Platforms".
The new breed, with high-value solutions at its core, has been adopted and implemented by a varied range of industries including manufacturing, retail, finance, and healthcare.
Industry leaders and market analysts unequivocally believe that enablement of industry-specific cloud platforms significantly boost an organization's capability to deliver value-added offerings specifically tailored to the needs and demands of their customers.
Any business model, by having its presence in the cloud, can leverage the 3rd Platform's flexibility to release tailor-made products and services that enhance their engagement with customers and eventually drive loyalty.
IDC foresees the 3rd Platform to constitute 95% of the growth in IT investments over the next seven years. This will foster hundreds of thousands of cloud service platforms to emerge and create industry-specific technology solutions designed for business and governments alike.
From retail to financial services, telecommunications to healthcare, and government, the 3rd Platform will be an essential basis for businesses in every industry to succeed in the transforming digital world.