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How the third platform is changing business


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Many of the opportunities manufacturers are identifying and the products and services they are offering have come about as the result of the phase in technological development first discussed in 2008 and popularly known as the third platform.

The third platform is the aggregate of:

  • Mobile platforms
  • Social media
  • Cloud solutions
  • Big data
  • The Internet of Things

The functionalities of these applications are designed and built to work for numerous situations, as well as seamless integration with other apps. The third platform and its capabilities have fundamentally changed who creates information technology (IT) solutions, who applies them and how they are used.

From enhancing customer service with personalized solutions to increasing efficiencies in production and distribution, companies are using third platform technologies in a wide range of products, services and functions. 

Before companies will allow their IT budgets to shift priorities or increase to accommodate new technologies, a case will have to be made to support the return on such investments. Ideally, middle-market IT leaders should be spending 50 percent of their IT budgets on maintenance and 50 percent on strategic technology initiatives. To take advantage of third platform opportunities, budgets will need to increase or priorities will need to shift. 

With so much riding on how IT is utilized―providing products and services, increasing efficiencies, optimizing product usage, customizing client engagement―management must allow IT leaders to play a primary role in the strategic direction of the company. 

Embracing third platform technologies now will help companies survive and compete in (and even bring change to) their industry. But that means being willing to examine how IT resources are currently being prioritized and adjusting accordingly—and continually.


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