Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Specialty Digital Business Platforms are Flourishing

 Digital Business Platforms (DBPs) are springing up worldwide because of the need for more combined functionality that works seamlessly together for the business professional. While there are still many richly featured/complete business platforms out there that are thriving well, there is also an explosion of specialty digital business platforms that focus on outcomes that are immediately appealing to organizations. This post will try to identify and describe the business-focused digital platforms instead of technical and infrastructural digital platforms. I have found 10 of these categories so far that I have described below.  I give some example vendors, but my lists are not exhaustive. Click on the names of the vendors if you wish to link to their web presence.  


All-Inclusive DBPs

These DBPs bring together as close to fully functional digital features that typically business function for core transactions,  business process for automation combined with friendly customer/employee experiences, analytics/AI for the added insight, low code data integration (aka Fabric/Mesh) and development and a comprehensive internet of things (IoT) with digital twins. These first started to emerge in 2015 and rapidly grew with the digital transformation emphasis. They bring the advantage of holistic and integrated platforms that need little augmentation. DBPs put the integration of many silo technology stacks in the rearview mirror. The degree of integration quality and the amount will vary by vendor. Please see one of the first posts on DBP with one of the first illustrations to reach the light of day by clicking here.

Example Vendors Include:

Genpact

Oracle

Pegasystems

Salesforce

SAP


Specialty Digital Business Platforms

Specialty DBPs combine/integrate two or more needed technology silos for significant benefit to organizations in their digital transformation journey, even if it is only a portion of that journey. The key driver for these decisions is often tactical to deliver a sorely needed set of business outcomes as quickly as possible. They are not necessarily aimed at becoming an all-inclusive DBP, but they can play a role in creating their own all-inclusive digital business platform.

 

1.      Business Application Driven DBPs

These platforms concentrate on a business application or specific business processes that contribute to horizontal business outcomes, such as human resource (HR) onboarding or enterprise resource planning (ERP). Additionally, vertically based suites of processes and applications revolve around specific industries such as insurance claims, oil and gas platforms management, mortgage loan processing, or banking systems. The list is relatively long of vertical applications or services available.

Example Vendors Include:

Oracle

SAP

Workday

2.      Sales/Customer Experience Enablement Platforms

This class of platforms combines customer relationship management from sales through the servicing of customers. Customer Experience platforms are usually a collection of tools that help companies establish their customer interaction experiences and goals. The breadth of channels through which customers can interact with a company is often so spread out that it's difficult for just one solution to manage them all. The sales process is where the interaction starts with the customer, and these platforms also include sales automation capabilities that speed sales and revenue pipeline management.

Example Vendors Include:

Oracle/Netsuite

Pegasystems

Salesforce

3.      Business Process/Workflow Platforms (BPM)BPM software

A BPM platform provides a framework and tools for managing the tasks and workflow related to people or systems. Typically, BPM software helps define, automate, and report processes to help businesses optimize businesses to deliver on organizational goals. The processes often span an organization's full operations and are aimed at monitoring the effectiveness of operations. They manage the full process lifecycle and processes instances.

Example Vendors Include

Appian

Nintex

Pegasystems

 

4.      Hyperautomation Platforms

Hyperautomation is the application of various combinations of advanced technologies like robotic process automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML), low-code, and Process Mining (PM) to augment workers, accelerate task completion, and even automate processes in ways that are significantly more impactful than traditional automation capabilities. An example would smart bots who collaborate with knowledge workers to complete work.

Example Vendors Include

Appian

Automation Anywhere

Blue Prism

UI Path

WorkFusion

 

5.      Collaborative Work Platform

A collaborative platform is a virtual workspace where resources and tools are aggregated to facilitate communication and personal interaction, particularly in projects or casework. Often sharing content is involved even if it is real-time or leveraged in work schedules.

Example Vendors Include

Microsoft

Monday.com

Slack

Zoom


6.      Data Science/Analytic Platform

These platforms rely on transparent data access, consistent metadata, strong enterprise governance, automated machine learning, deep learning, and model building, operationalized model management, and tools that measure and improve its impact on business. You might think of a data science platform as a factory for creating analytic models. These platforms are for organizations that are always listening and analyzing for innovation.

Example Vendors Include

Apache Spark

SAS

Tibco

 

7.      Data Mesh/Fabric Platform

Data mesh/fabric is an architecture and set of data services that provide consistent capabilities across a choice of endpoints spanning on-premises and multiple cloud environmentsThe Data Mesh/Fabric simplifies and integrates data management across cloud and on-premises to accelerate digital transformation. It allows for creating dynamic data views quickly in real-time to manage to the moment.

Example Vendors Include

Informatica

SingleStore

Tibco

 

 

8.      Digital Twin Platform

Digital twin software provides a virtual representation or simulation of a physical asset and is used to monitor the asset's performance in real-time. These tools are used to simulate performance, predict potential maintenance needs, and ultimately optimize the asset for peak performance.

Example Vendors Include

Bosch

IBM

Microsoft

Siemens

9.      Cybersecurity Platform

Cybersecurity platforms should be able to prevent, detect, and respond to threats across an enterprise IT infrastructure (i.e., endpoints, networks, servers, or cloud-based workloads). In simple terms, a Data Security Platform (DSP) is a type of data security solution that aims to combine a suite of traditionally siloed security tools. Most Data Security Platforms will combine functionality designed to locate and protect data on-premises and in the cloud.

Example Vendors Include

CrowdStrike

HP/Microfocus

IBM

 

10   Emerging Hybrid Platforms

Emerging Hybrid Platforms combine various siloed technologies into a more usable combination of functionalities. We are still in the emergent stage of the specialized and generalized digital business platforms.

Example Vendors Include

ABBYY                 Process and Content Intelligence

Parallel                   Collaboration and Process Improvement

VoiceBase              Analytics, Sentiment, and Voice Data

Wizly                     Corporate Performance and Data Science                      

 

Net; Net

Specialty DBPs started sprouting up around specific outcomes that organizations wanted early in their digital journeys. Vendors that chased these outcomes became popular, and some are even growing to all-inclusive DBPs while delivering impressive and focused benefits along the way. I expect this convergence for convenience to accelerate and continue before a consolidation that will likely be economically and advantage driven. Over time some of these specialty vendors will grow to compete with the all-inclusive DBPs and possibly collaborate with the all-inclusive DBPs.

 

2 comments:

  1. Great information. This is important for all business and IT transformation professionals. The capabilities we have to work with in redesigning business operations or rearchitecting IT are changing and this information helps in staying on top of the changes.

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