Digital Platform Market Bifurcates Into Digital Business Platform and Solution
by Betsy Burton
As Jim Lundy and I have started working toward an update to our Digital Business Platform Globe, we are finding that most technology providers say that they have some form of a “digital platform.” This isn’t a surprise since platforms remains a key technology foundation for the development of a digital business… as well a hot marketing concept and term to use. However, it is critical to recognize that the diversity of platforms are not even close to the same in terms of functionality and capabilities.
In this blog, we explore how this market is evolving, and how this may affect Aragon’s Digital Business Platform (DBP) Globe for 2019.
DBPs Have Different Roots
The strengths or differentiators of technologies can often be realized when we look back at their root technologies. In the case of DBPs, they most often evolved from 3 different sources: integration middleware (hubs), process management or workflow technologies, and business applications/solutions. As the demand for support for IoT and AI grew, we are finding that these technology products have also evolved to support these capabilities to varying degrees.
What is particularly interesting however is that even though the market blurred together in its infancy, we are now seeing this market bifurcate as organizations are looking for different types of products to meet different needs.
Before we go any further, let us remind you the Digital Business is not just a technology issue. In this blog and our forthcoming Aragon Globe, we are going to focus on technologies organization can use to enable their digital business. However, digital business is first and foremost a business model change/introduction that is enabled by technology (see Debunking 5 Common Myths about Digital Business).
Digital Business Platform Capabilities
In last year’s Digital Business Platform Globe, we highlighted:
- Business Applications—Reusable application functions
- Process and Case—Work and process management capabilities
- Data and Systems Integration—Universal big and fast data and ecosystem linkage capabilities
- Cognition & Calculations—Smart/teachable capabilities, AI, decision optimizing, and action features
- Machine and sensor management—Signal/event management, smart controllers or IoT and devices, and autonomous contextual behavior
In addition, we noted that any DBP technology security and the ability to add new and emerging technologies.
Digital Business Platform Versus Digital Business Solution
As this market has continued to emerge, we are seeing organizations separate their short-lists into DBPs that enable them to build their own solution versus DBPs that provide an application that they can then extend.
In order to support or enable digital business, we are finding that all organizations need the ability to integrate things (machines and sensors); they need the ability to support AI modeling, decision-making, and information analysis; and they need security capabilities.
However, we are starting to see evidence that there are organizations looking to buy a solution they can then extend. These organizations are looking for business application-defined templates process snippets, application components and services, policies, rules/constraints, and microservices. We are identifying this as the market for Digital Business Solutions—primarily an application focus with integration extensions.
On the other hand, we are finding organizations seeking to build and control their own solution. These organizations are looking for application independence and more for integration capabilities (integration hub, open interfaces, component integration, open interfaces, etc.). We are identifying this as the market for Digital Business Platform—primarily an integration focus with application independence.
Research Will Continue
We will freely admit that this is early research and thinking in this process. As we continue to gather information for this year’s Digital Business Platform Globe, we will be working to clarify this market more:
- If you are a technology service provider in either of these markets, we would be interested in your thoughts on this segmentation, and your product roadmap.
- If you are a buyer in either of these markets, we are also very interested in your thoughts on this segmentation, and what factors you considered in your buying decision
Over 70% of the investment required to deploy a successful digital business strategy is related to people, business partner ecosystem, business strategy design, information, and process, with 30% or less of the investment on technologies. However, organizations must ensure that the technology they buy to enable their digital business reflects the business strategy and need, as well as the ability to integrate additional services, applications, and emerging technologies.
Aragon Research will be releasing an updated Digital Business Platform Globe in 2019, and we look forward to engaging with clients during this research process.
To speak with us more about digital business, we invite you to contact us.