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What is a digital platform?

26 May 2017 by Christian Møller
Many find the concept of a digital platform hard to grasp. Is it a product you buy? Does it have any real value to customers? And what features should you look for? Let’s take a look at the basics.

What is a digital platform?

Simply put, a digital platform is a set of tools built on modern cloud technology that makes the development of applications easy. It is, however, not a product in itself. The services, applications, and solutions on the platform are the products that you as a customer will interact with and pay for.

Does a digital platform have any value to customers in itself?

A digital platform has significant value for many reasons. I find these the most important:

  1. Reduced IT costs. When you move your business to the cloud, you can discard the old servers in your basement.
  2. Increased cybersecurity. As an example, Microsoft is investing 1 billion dollars in Azure cybersecurity, far exceeding what most companies’ IT departments can deliver.
  3. Fast, secure, and easy creation of new applications. Platforms that allow partners and customers to create and collaborate on new applications and services on customers’ data are known as open ecosystems.
  4. Advanced analytics on big data. This is arguably only feasible by using cloud services.
  5. Optimized use of data. With a digital platform, multiple stakeholders can base custom views, services, and applications on the same data.

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What features should I look for in a digital platform?

A digital platform consists of many services. Needless to say, you should look for the services that provide your business with the best performance/cost ratio, but some services are almost always required for all applications or solutions. I consider the following to be among these:

  • A front-end framework that allows for quick and device-independent building of applications and enables you to do everything from a browser, whether you’re a developer or a customer.
  • A storage solution that lets applications and services access data and allows for cross-pollination of software resources.
  • An authentication system that securely identifies all users, and a user portal that allows customers to orchestrate their users and handle administration tasks such as access control and configurations.
  • A fully automated billing system for all services you as a customer consume on the platform.

Services such as analytics, cybersecurity, and network security must also be in place. Developing it all in one place allows the IP to be reused, and saves costs for developers and customers alike.

Does my company need a digital platform?

Everything is being digitalized, and no matter what line of business you’re in, your company needs digital competency to maintain its competitive advantage. Digital transformation is a necessity, not an option, and using a digital platform is your best guarantee of a smooth transformation.

 Would you like to know more about how a digital platform can help your business? Feel free to ask us.

 

Cybersecurity
ecosystem
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About the writer
Christian Møller
Møller has worked for KONGSBERG since September 2016 and holds the position of Chief Technology Officer for Kongsberg Digital. He previously worked in research for Microsoft helping to develop a wide range of products, as well as evaluating new technology and technology companies. In Møller’s current role, he plays a central part in further developing the company’s efforts towards existing customers and segments, and also works with products and solutions for new segments.