The relentless pace of consumer demands compels organizations to embrace digital transformation and streamline operations for continued relevance. While significant strides have been made, there remains room for strategic improvement. Fragmented IT investments are no longer tenable; fostering interconnected systems between business and IT has become imperative to navigate industry turbulence. This article sheds light on the role of platform-centric strategies in shaping organizational growth trajectories.

As customer demands outpace traditional models and the hybrid work landscape takes root, leaders scramble for agile technology structures that deliver lightning-fast responses. But navigating this digital transformation brings to light a crucial divide: IT teams, focused on operational stability, are building resilient engines, while business minds prioritize the customer-facing digital tapestry. Bridging this chasm – fostering seamless connectivity between technology drivers and customer experience – is no longer just an option; it’s the path to the future.

Organizations with advanced digital capabilities boast unified and customer-centric processes, enhanced AI and automation adoption, and optimized partner ecosystems. They leverage future-proof platforms to strengthen internal and external connectivity. By deliberately connecting experiences and operations, these companies integrate customer, employee, partner, and societal interactions with back-end systems, technology, and processes.

The Essential Elements of a Platform-Centered Digital Strategy

Platform ecosystems, when implemented effectively, tackle modernization and efficiency challenges head-on. This is particularly relevant as modern development evolves from the traditional “build vs. buy” to focusing on customization and composition. This shift empowers organizations to minimize technical debt by readily replacing underutilized or expensive-to-maintain modular components.

Fig: Features/Functionalities to Focus on for Developing Platform-Based Capabilities. Source: Base: 441 business and IT decision-makers responsible for their organization’s business, IT, supply chain, and process automation strategy, who believe that adopting a platform-based strategy and unifying business and technology, will drive digital transformation initiatives Note: Showing sum of responses for “Will invest in the next 3 to 6 months” and “Will invest in the next 12 months” Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of EdgeVerve, August 2023

A recent EdgeVerve-commissioned Forrester study reveals that most large-enterprise decision-makers view a platform-based strategy as a potent lever for accelerating digital transformation. Notably, 70% believe bridging the business-technology gap with a platform approach enables more effective digital initiatives. Furthermore, 66% anticipate improved customer satisfaction through this approach, demonstrating its potential to enhance organizational capabilities and deliver positive customer outcomes.

Platform-Centered Strategies to Drive a Deeper Transformation Approach

A platform-centric digital strategy fostering connectivity and visibility across the business and IT ecosystems holds immense potential to amplify human potential and catalyze much-needed organizational efficiencies. Let’s delve into key aspects:

  1. Advanced Connectivity: Companies with robust connectivity practices are 1.7 times more likely to realize substantial business value from their digital transformation investments. Senior leaders at such companies recognize the criticality of building better connectivity across partner ecosystems, human and artificial intelligence, data, and networks for optimal digital transformation.
  2. Human-Centered Optimization: Investing in automation and adopting an AI-first mindset represents a long-term investment in human potential. Firms in advanced stages of digital transformation are more likely to augment human potential, with 72% considering integrating human and AI capabilities a core digital initiative requirement. Additionally, 71% aim to drive automation in customer-facing services, fostering both customer and employee engagement.
  3. Cloud and Platform Adoption: Companies with advanced maturity and the foresight for connectivity are slightly ahead in adopting a cloud- and platform-based approach to IT. The Forrester – EdgeVerve Survey respondents acknowledge the importance of these capabilities for enhanced connectivity, with nearly 60% reporting existing platform-operating modes for technology connectivity. Firms in advanced stages are slightly more focused on accelerating platform capabilities, emphasizing a platform-as-a-service approach.
  4. Partner Ecosystem Effectiveness: Building impactful and connected partner ecosystems is a game changer for advanced firms. Enabling connectivity across IT and business teams, partner ecosystems, and data and networks is a core priority for 78% of digital leaders, highlighting its significance in building effective digital enterprises.
  5. Emerging Technology Utilization: Leaders in the Industry tend to increasingly harness generative AI (GenAI) to enhance experiences, offerings, and productivity, paving the way to realize outsized growth and outpace their competition. They are more likely to invest in Gen AI, and their executives are more open to making trust an intrinsic part of this adoption with an eye for staying focused on practical, measurable use cases. , Digital leaders are more inclined to invest in natural language processing, autonomous workplace assistants, and explainable AI for enhanced integration, automation, and intelligence and rely on their own business data to build Gen AI models and applications.

How to Develop a Platform-Centric Digital Strategy for Maximum Impact

As we begin to see a new trend driven by generative AI, platform-centricity isn’t just a strategic advantage; it’s a blueprint for survival. By orchestrating ecosystems of talent and technology, platforms will become breeding grounds for innovation, nurturing partnerships between humans and AI, not replacing them. As platforms facilitate seamless collaboration between humans and AI, the workforce will be reshaped, not replaced. New roles will emerge, demanding skills in communication, critical thinking, and the ability to navigate the ethical
landscape of an AI-powered world.

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  • Connect business needs and IT with tools, systems, and metrics to drive customer-centric tech. Focus on transformation priorities from the early stages while also ensuring tools, systems, and metrics align toward a connected enterprise.
  • Make AI and automation your top priority to bring in more self-service solutions to enhance human potential, boost employee productivity, and provide a superior customer experience. This allows for driving more self-service at scale and builds on human potential, positively impacting human productivity and customer experience.
  • Embrace emerging technologies with gen AI and clearly defined use cases to work towards driving outcomes for business.
  • Improve partner ecosystems with a platform-centric digital strategy that ensures clear visibility and accountability and allows for creative differentiation to drive growth. Take advantage of a platform strategy that empowers you to conquer any shortcomings and gaps in digital transformation efficiency by leveraging the smart utilization of Gen AI. This will drive automation and enhance workflow productivity, enabling you to adopt a strategic and differentiated approach.

The current challenges and gaps in digital transformation effectiveness have highlighted the need to connect business, IT, and partner ecosystem priorities while enabling technical connectivity across systems, data flows, and operational processes to drive change.

In conclusion, a platform-centric strategy prioritizes the development and growth of a platform as the core driver of value creation and impact. This goes beyond simply building a platform; it’s about fostering a vibrant ecosystem around it that attracts users, developers, and partners, leading to network effects and exponential growth. Allowing for an open and extensible architecture helps develop APIs and tools that encourage third-party development. Make it easy for users to customize and integrate your platform with their existing workflows.

Disclaimer Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the respective institutions or funding agencies