In the 3rd platform era, enterprise transformation challenges IT and business leaders to create an organization whose business processes are increasingly digital. The advent of social, mobile, cloud and advanced analytic technologies changes customer expectations while presenting new opportunities for large and small enterprises in virtually all industries.
The 3rd platform brings these new technologies together, while at the same time creating a perfect storm for business leaders looking to compete effectively. Most IT groups are evolving from 2nd platform IT organizations that provide cost-effective, secure, reliable operations into 3rd platform businesses that have the ability to innovate and achieve digital market leadership. As organizations leverage 3rd platform technologies to enhance customer engagement and improve business decision-making, IT executives will inevitably sit at the forefront of this digital transformation. In transforming to a business innovation platform, IT organizations are now thinking about how they can help businesses by enabling internal business processes, digital business models, and creating IT-enabled products and services.
Traditional siloed IT infrastructures will increasingly become the challenge for those who want to run a digital enterprise effectively. Many organizations will choose to deploy entirely new converged infrastructures in order to support cloud workloads such as advanced analytics, mobile enablement, cognitive computing or other dynamic application. IDC believes that the emerging digital economy empowers businesses to improve the success rate of new product introductions by a dramatic 70%. This will be accomplished in part by creating greater operational efficiencies, building deeper customer relationships and generating new revenue streams. Specifically, businesses need to unleash technologies in order to create new products and services which span the digital and physical worlds; create new experiences that blend business and customer domains; improve operational efficiencies; and improve organizational performance.
One of the top challenges facing IT leaders remains constrained technology budgets. Unfortunately IT is seen too much as a cost center focused on driving and enabling operational efficiency and not an area for strategic business investment. Clearly, making a successful transition to a digital enterprise requires technology investment. IT leaders should begin treating the enterprise technology budget as theirs – and in return IT will have significantly more capital to work with when driving the requisite data center transformation. The necessary funding likely does exist in the business, the challenge is finding it and influencing how it is spent in order to ensure costs are contained, risk is minimized and IT is effectively optimized.
When CIOs develop true partnerships with the business, the risk of innovation no longer sits on the shoulders of IT alone. The structure of the IT organization is an important component of innovation. Leading IT organizations are separating the "run" part of IT operations into a "shared services" center. This is allowing them to be focus on innovation in applications and data without the burden of a legacy infrastructure which continues to weigh on many organizations. In summary, building a business that is equipped to thrive in the digital economy requires a number of core competencies including:
- Developing and executing on a digital transformational vision
- Managing information effectively
- Creating a flexible human resource model
- Optimizing business processes for speed, agility and efficiency
In the 3rd platform era, all businesses will become increasingly digital. This will place IT at the forefront of a number of decisions aimed at transforming business processes and operational efficiencies; transforming work and employee productivity; transforming customer relationships and increasing buyer loyalty and transforming products and services revenue streams. IDC believes that IT will assume a critical role in the forthcoming digital reinvention as IT positions itself as a business innovation platform. To learn more, visit Future Index.
Matt Eastwood routinely participates in social media where he engages regularly regarding emerging technologies, the 3rd platform and business transformation. Please join Matt on Twitter @MattEastwood.