On Platforms…

Some time ago I wrote a post that was called “Why PaaS Is The New Black” and it was referring to the growing expected adoption for platforms in the enterprise.

That was 2010 – six years ago – and it was referring to work I had been doing since the mid 1980s around distributed work, computing platforms, and later PaaS.  The statements in there have not changed, but the urgency with which organizations must embrace a PaaS strategy as part of their cloud computing architecture deployments has risen – very fast, and very much.

Given the chaotic state of platforms in the enterprise (where every software vendor promises they have a platform and every IT department is trying to figure out the difference between owning 20 different applications and signing up for 20 different platforms – hint: none) I thought it was high time to dive deeper into trying to explain platforms from the Enterprise IT perspective.

No, I am not foolish enough to fall for the old “explain the cloud in one page” trick that Sameer Patel played on me before.  Once bitten, twice shy… instead I will undertake a series of posts through the year to answer some of the questions I hear from IT and business people on platforms.

note: I will stay away from definitions.  if you need a definition and a good understanding of platforms go to this HBR (Ha-vud, you know) article that does a tremendous job (and saved me easily 2-3 posts if not more) of explaining it (and thanks Brian Vellmure for pointing it out to me — well, tweeting about it).

What are some of those questions (outside of definitions)?  In no particular order (other than remembering since they were more recent conversations)

  • How do we manage  platforms? how can  make sure we manage  platforms and services appropriately considering everyone wants us to use their platforms and services?
  • How can a platform replace costly and complex point-to-point integration?
  • When do we need to use a platform? I will try to include a framework and questions to guide the decision
  • What is the implicit and explicit value of a platform-based solution (by comparison and by extension)?
  • How can we leverage a platform to ensure compliance? 
  • How can our customers leverage our platforms to get what they want? (if this works like I envision it, likely a series of posts using case studies)
  • How to build ecosystems using platforms?
  • What are the economics of using platforms? basic to complex, not economic, models to justify the adoption
  • How can we leverage platforms to access better data and create better experiences for our customers?

It is a tall order, not sure if or when I will be able to cover all this information – but i now have a purpose for this blog.

Is there something else you would like me to cover? explain?

note: you can always read my cloud purist ebook that has a great explanation of platforms and their value…

3 Replies to “On Platforms…”

  1. I think these questions go much deeper. We are seeing IaaS growth at the enterprise level as well as individual teams make infrastructure decisions on a product-by-product or project-by-project basis.


    1. Very interesting point. Will add that dimension to the research. Gotta say I’m not a big IaaS person – I let providers handle that. But I think you have a good point.



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