How to build a future-proof digital business platform
  • Blog

Digital business platforms

Future-proof technology for digital transformation

Dan Glessner

Former Digital Leader



A digital business platform can help connect and streamline your business and IT operations. It allows your enterprise to make the most of existing technologies while giving your business the agility needed to adopt new technologies like generative AI.

I've covered the what and why of digital business platforms, so in this blog, I look at how to manage them – with input from analysts, my experiences of leading transformation projects, and industry best practices.

Advice from the analysts

Digital transformation is a journey, not a one-off project, so you need a guide when building a digital business platform. And analysts 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.

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

  • Use a wider range of products, architectural techniques, and services than others
  • Invest in building technical teams with sustained investment over many years
  • Rely on service providers when building their digital business platform

Forrester recommends pursuing future-fit technology. Companies must ensure their IT infrastructure becomes more resilient and creative, and business and technology leaders must help their firms modernize and replatform 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

Find your cloud foundation

Whatever advice you follow, all digital business platforms must run on a solid foundation of cloud services. You need to choose between public, private, or hybrid cloud models based on your business requirements and security considerations. And whatever cloud provider you go for, make sure they have the flexibility you'll need for future upgrades and redesigns.

Of course, when it comes to the cloud, cost control is always a major concern. So, work with a partner who understands how to monitor and manage the costs associated with the cloud to optimize your spending.

Build your digital business platform

Whether you're seeking a new digital business platform or updating an existing one, unfortunately, you can't purchase it off the shelf – you need to build it. Follow these best practices to get started:

  1. Tie your digital investments to business strategy: Focusing on IT-only or technology-only investments will fail to meet the needs of your enterprise 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 consume 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 microapplications for digital business innovation.
  3. Bring along your legacy systems through integration: The best technology 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 alone. Partner with a trusted and award-winning service provider with deep industry expertise, known for building leading digital business platforms.

Ultimately, digital transformation requires leaders to rethink their business models and how they serve their customers. A change-ready and future-proof digital business platform will set your company up for success.

Control cloud costs with our CloudSmart Manager

Learn more About