The business world is slowly making the slow switch from the classic brick-and-mortar business to the online business realm. This change is partly because of the convenience of being able to access your business information anywhere you are. A digital platform provides this kind of convenience. A digital business platform is even more efficient. This blog sheds light on what a digital platform is, how it compares to a digital business platform, and how you can use a digital business platform to improve your business.
What is a Digital Platform
Digital platforms help businesses streamline their operations and engage with customers. They provide the software or hardware that enables users to interact with a website. By unifying and simplifying business operations and IT systems, digital platforms serve as the backbone for many companies.
A digital platform can help streamline business processes, making them more efficient and transparent. In turn, this allows a company to more effectively manage internal functions and meet the needs of its users. With a digital platform, companies can more quickly develop and launch products, provide excellent customer service, and gather data to improve their operations and inform future business and product decisions.
What is a Digital Business Platform?
A digital business platform is an infrastructure that companies can use to quickly make the business available online. These platforms utilise integrations or extensions to provide customisable solutions for businesses, but sometimes too many individual extensions and outside development can make these platforms expensive and time-consuming to implement. However, every business needs a digital business platform to facilitate end-to-end processes easier by offering enhanced flexibility and delivering improved client experiences.
The world is now emphasising more on remote selling and working, so many leaders across various industries are investing more in digitising their business infrastructure. The pandemic revealed a lack of proper tools to support an entirely online business for many big merchants. To adapt, companies are investing in front-end selling through e-commerce and by centralising their back-end operations with an all-in-one digital business platform. Platforms like digital business platforms are a great way for businesses and people to connect with each other. They provide a space for buyers and sellers to meet and engage with each other. This makes it easier for businesses to find new customers and make sales.
Digital Business Platforms can provide new capabilities such as real-time, situational awareness and continuous various intelligence. Support for streaming data for IoT and other business events is also possible. Decision-making by using advanced analytics as well as automating it is another advantage. Lastly, intelligent integration and orchestration that embed AI along with other disruptive technologies into the business workflows is possible.
The digital business technology platform is like a skeleton that software engineers can build upon and add to over time as the business needs and technology change. This architecture allows for initial capabilities to be built quickly and easily, while still allowing for modifications to be made down the line. This flexibility is one of the key advantages of this type of platform.
Why We Need Digital Business Platforms?
There are many advantages that digital has over existing alternatives since it can provide a broader solution that is more adept at meeting customer needs and driving revenue growth. Most digital business models are built around the concept of a digital platform. This allows businesses to more effectively connect with their target audiences and provide them with the solutions they are looking for. A digital business platform is like a toolbox. It provides a way to put together different technologies to create new business capabilities. It also creates a layer between the business logic for digital transformation and the technology applications. This layer makes it easier to change or update the applications without affecting the business logic.
Digital business platforms are a great way for companies to create new products, services, or business models. By doing so, a company can accelerate its revenue and improve its profitability. Moreover, digital business platforms can also drive efficiencies by implementing automation. Finally, digital business platforms can enhance the customer experience by ensuring that products follow business compliance.
Furthermore, a digital business platform eliminates the issue of challenges of having to upgrade existing hardware as well as keeping the previous platform updated, with a team to support the upgrades, updates and more so there is nothing to be worried about any potential downtime or investment before taking the next step in the digital business. This can save a lot of headaches for product managers who would otherwise have to worry about these technical aspects of their job.
When you have a digital platform in place, it's easy to plug in other business solutions thanks to its modular design.
How to Build a Digital Business Technology Platform?
A digital business technology platform is not a replacement for your current applications. It is an additional layer that is interwoven with your existing systems. To get the full benefits of a digital business technology platform, you need to rethink how you use it and integrate it with your other applications.
Below are the steps that can help you in building a digital business platform:
Vision and capabilities
You'll need to plan out your product's capabilities from the start, including what order you'll develop them in and how long each stage will take. This is crucial to getting your product right, as it's a long-term process that will take multiple iterations to perfect.
By sequencing your goals, it will help set expectations for you and your team. Additionally, you'll need to define diverse metrics to measure success. This will allow you to track your progress and ensure that you are on track to reach your objectives.
Digital business platforms require an ongoing investment in both time and and money. Once created a digital platform requires upkeep throughout the year. Like other business area budgets you should look to assign and commit a relevant percentage of company revenue (based on goals and platform complexity) to this annually to ensure upkeep and performance.
In order to have a successful digital business platform, it is important to have a team of people who are willing and able to develop the necessary skills. Seventy-five percent of global companies have at least 50 people working on their digital business platform. In-house employees can be up-skilled to develop the capabilities needed, and supplement with external resources.
Engage service provider
Technology providers play an important role in helping companies select the right technology, define their ambitions and develop and maintain their digital business platforms. By working with a provider, companies can benefit from their expertise and experience in these areas to ensure that their digital business platform is successful.
Plan for skills development
Service providers working with a contract need to be prepared for when that contract ends. In-house teams need to do an inventory of skills that are necessary and then decide how many people will be assigned to learning or doing the training for those skills. Build an ongoing development and learning into employees' weekly work rhythms.
Most platforms are built in the cloud in order to help minimise costs and allow the platform to go live quickly with limited budget. However, as the capabilities of the platform increase, so does the cost. Therefore, it is important to carefully consider which capabilities are most important for the platform before launched, in order to control costs.
API and integration strategy
The digital business technology platform requires effective and secure integration of a variety of applications systems and technology capabilities. It is important to carefully select the architecture and integration that will be connected directly to user-facing applications.
Develop and deploy MVP
In order to be successful, product managers need to be able to assign different features and stories to different team members. They also need to be able to prioritise capabilities so that they can be developed and tested quickly. This is especially important when the team is still developing the MVP.
Scale and expand
It's important for product managers to keep revisiting and redefining their ambition and capabilities to stay adaptable in an ever-changing world. As relevant technologies continue to improve, it exposes the need to revise aspects of the original architecture.
Benefits of a Digital Business Platforms
Starting to build a digital platform can be a really rewarding experience for your company. You can reap the benefits of faster innovation, higher quality, improved reliability, reduced costs, and happy employees. However, it's also a very challenging task that requires a lot of careful planning and execution.
A digital platform provides several benefits that can help a business succeed. Automating and abstracting cloud setup and simplifying governance processes allows for faster innovation and a quicker launch to customers. Additionally, this can lead to more business model opportunities and decreased risk when trying out new ideas in different marketplaces. By streamlining processes and focusing on business problems, a company can take advantage of digital platforms to stay ahead of the competition.
Automated configuration and infrastructure solutions usually provide a higher quality and more effective solution than manual testing. This is because automated testing is more efficient and less likely to result in environment-specific problems. However, manual testing does have its own advantages, such as the human judgement call.
One way to get the best of both worlds is to combine manual and automated testing to get the most effective and accurate results. Additionally, creating an effective rollback system with health checks can help to fix deployment failures quickly and efficiently.
Then, another benefit is the increased reliability. Users can quickly identify abnormal operating conditions by providing logging, monitoring, and alerts. As a result, businesses will experience improved continuity.
Having a digital platform provides many benefits, one of which is improved ways of working. It provides an opportunity to experiment on policies and will drive new practices. Processes will be simpler too.
Finally, another benefit is taking advantage of the most advanced technology at reduced costs.
Standardising cloud building blocks means the best available technology can be provided to the digital service team and traffic can be optimised without significant costs. The cost of expanding a digital team will also be generally lower. This means cost management will also be easier. Centralising self-service touch-points for automated infrastructure allows infrastructure costs to be visualised and closely managed, which helps organisations save money on their overall infrastructure spend.
A business digital platform will result in people who are happier and more productive.
Digital Business Platform Processes and Implementations
The next generation of industrialists are those who embrace digitalisation and interconnectedness. They know that the value creation process is constantly changing and that they need to be prepared to change with it. They also know that the best way to innovate isn't by getting more expertise in their industry vertical, but by thinking outside the box, being open to new platforms, and learning from platform masters.
You can't just take a process and throw it into a digital machine and expect it to work the same way it did before. You need to redesign the entire business model to fit a digital transformation, with specific priorities that will work for your company. This is the only way to create a successful digital business.
A successful approach is to take data science, design thinking and deep industry and process knowledge, and combine them with deep technology capabilities to unite the physical and virtual aspects of a company seamlessly, across every channel. By applying big data and artificial intelligence (AI), businesses can uncover insights they can act on, develop new business models and go-to-market strategies, and design, prototype and scale meaningful experiences for their customers.
A digital business platform can simplify the process of collaboration by providing employees with access to the data they need when they need it. Information from each department is funnelled into one centralised location. This will directly affect the business, starting with increased employee engagement, followed by improved efficiency and reduced operational costs. More advanced collaboration not only allows for internal dialogs and discussions to take place within a company, but also gives the company the ability to interact directly with external factors. This is done by sharing information with customers and suppliers (while paying careful attention to permission and authorisation levels). Interactive experiences that are well-crafted begin with aligning a company's systems and stories. This process is based on the philosophy that any human experience must be informed by what people feel, what they need (not just what they want), and what it takes to make it happen.
The last steps in developing your digital transformation strategy are creating a timeline and project team. Both of these tasks are equally as important as everything else you've done up to this point. Your project timeline should include realistic deadlines for each action, so that you can plan tasks which rely on each other or can be actioned at the same time.
When you're working on a project, it's important to have a clear understanding of everyone's roles and responsibilities. By assigning specific tasks to specific people and teams, you can avoid any confusion about who is responsible for what. Having a clear plan with assigned tasks and deadlines will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal.
An effective digital business platform strategy must be aligned with the company's work in all channels. If it is not integrated properly, businesses will often encounter problems in the long term and must be completely redesigned. To design an effective Digital Platform Strategy with lasting solutions, it is very important to gather as much information as possible coupled with the defined the objectives and the criteria from the beginning.
The use of digital platforms in the workplace has become commonplace and can help your business succeed.
Our team can help you re-platform, implement, and enhance your business operations with robust and specialised technologies.
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