Digital Transformation
Jul 22, 2021

Digital business platforms

Futureproof technology for digital transformation

"There is no alternative to digital transformation. Visionary companies will carve out new strategic options for themselves – those that don't adapt will fail." –Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon

The pandemic has forced people to rethink their routines and forced companies to rethink their business models. Companies that leverage digital technologies to develop new strategies and compelling offerings will be tomorrow's winners.

Looking to the future, CIOs must ensure their enterprise architecture is modular, resilient, and designed for innovation. Digital business platforms offer change-ready and futureproof technology to enable successful transformation.

I've covered the what and why of digital business platforms, but in this blog, I explore the latest analyst research, best practices, and recommendations for the how.

Advice from the analysts

Digital transformation is a journey, not a project, so you need a guide when building a digital business platform. Analysts – including Aragon Research, Gartner, and Forrester, to name a few – have plenty of advice to share.

According to Aragon Research, becoming a digital business is not a technology-only change. Companies must put the customer first when designing business models, processes, and services. Digital business platforms act as a dynamic integration hub that connects people, software, and machines to achieve business goals. Aragon Research has even named Genpact as a leader in the 2021 edition of the Aragon Research Globe for Digital Business Platforms – an accolade Genpact has secured for the past three years.

Gartner recommends creating a business outcome-driven enterprise architecture and to build a digital business platform by acquiring new technologies, developing competencies, and integrating legacy systems. Their research indicates that the most successful digital businesses:

  • Use a wider range of products, architectural techniques, and services than others do
  • Invest to build a large technical team with significant, sustained investment over many years
  • Rely overwhelmingly on service providers when building their digital business platform

Forrester advises CIOs to pursue future-fit technology to provide a blueprint for new ways forward. Companies must ensure their IT infrastructure becomes more resilient and creative, and business and technology leaders must help their firm modernize and re-platform today to deliver:

  • New, compelling employee and customer experiences
  • Insights that prompt their operations to act faster and more effectively
  • Connected ecosystems for sustainability and differentiation

Four steps for building your digital business platform

Unfortunately, your company cannot purchase a digital business platform off-the-shelf – you need to build it. Follow these best practices to get started:

  1. Tie your platform investments to business strategies and outcomes: Focusing on IT-only or technology-only investments will fail to meet your digital business needs and deliver little business value. Instead, develop an enterprise architecture tied to business outcomes with an iterative approach and modular design that evolves and grows with your business.
  2. Shift investments from core systems to edge innovation: It was common for legacy system upgrades and maintenance to subsume the bulk of the overall IT budget. Now, leaders are reducing their core system funding for much-needed investments in data fabrics, systems of engagement, and micro-applications for digital business innovation.
  3. Bring along your legacy systems through integration: Leaders incorporate their core systems and systems of record into their digital business platform. Though these systems will not enable your company to differentiate itself, your service provider should offer integration to make the most of your corporate data and prior investments.
  4. Get help from experienced service providers: Very few companies have the internal know-how to build their digital business platform. Partner with a trusted and award-winning service provider with deep industry expertise, known for building leading digital business platforms.

About the author

Dan Glessner

Dan Glessner

Vice President, Digital

Follow Dan Glessner on LinkedIn