IDG contributor network: PaaS, first part: the BLT


Much of my work over the last decade has been focused on creating a platform in one way or another. This could include designing a major business service to address a new regulatory need, defining, implementing and managing partner integrations, participating in standardization and data governance organizations or exploring business partnerships to design a shared platform. I've always liked connecting and exposing different parts of the organization, especially through an external collaboration – turning our intra-industry companies into inter-industry companies. ecosystems.

Given the trend around the all-in-one platform, I'm obsessed with following that very buzzy word. By conducting research and discussing this topic with others, I divided various ideas into three groups (with very broad generalizations for each):

1. Platform as omnichannel experience

Business-oriented "dominant" thinking

We all see and experience revolutionary technologies on a daily basis. Business leaders – and more importantly, customers– want their companies to commit to offering the same types of intuitive design and consistent experiences as Starbucks, Domino's Pizza and Amazon. Technology is important, but the focus is on mobile applications (from the client / outsider's point of view) and on 360-degree customer relationship management (CRM) and data analysis ( from the point of view of the employees / interns).

2. Platform as underlying technology (s)

"Dominant" technology-driven thinking

Techopedia defines the platform as "a group of technologies used as the foundation upon which other applications, processes, or technologies are developed." Here, cloud technologies (especially the platform as a service) [PaaS] and infrastructure as a service [IaaS]), software development frameworks, and application and data integration are popular for unifying systems, providing data access, and managing growing technical debt and complexity. Many members of this group have bandaged systems to keep projectors running and understand that the computer system needs to respond more quickly to meet evolving needs, while keeping the Jenga organizational tower in working order when moving blocks.

3. Platform as a business model

"Outlier" business and technology think, economists, futurists

The company itself is created or recreated to take advantage of the network effect. While a platform company can create products or services, it now seeks to amplify (or even cannibalize) its existing offerings by exploiting connections between people, machines and products / services. They transcend the concept of growth and value as being primarily intended for the shareholders of the company, then for employees and customers; they aim to share growth and value among all who participate in their platform business – the win-win, but large-scale snapshot.

I strongly believe in these three characterizations and suggest that the first two platform definitions are prerequisites for achieving the third. The good news is that many companies already tend (deliberately or accidentally) to favor first-experience or the technology first side of the fracture of the main platform. Those who possess or wish to have a mature orientation toward service, system integration and / or standard processes probably align on the technology point of view, while companies that are in the business are likely excellent relationship brokers and connect people to the right solution (especially where you have to be agile to create a new solution) have more than one starting point of experience.

Platform as a …sandwich?

You may already know the abbreviation PaaS, knowing that it represents the platform model as a cloud computing service; however, my hunger Unifying the "platform of experience" and "technology platform" points of view inspired what I call the company sandwich platform model. I suggest that this culturally inspired analogy works when we look at many of our business platforms. I continue to say that the company's stack of services is the real platform and that we should all strive to become platform companies. Moreover, the singular platform desired by business leaders is actually a platforms platform.

Although I am indifferent to the edible BLT sandwich made from bacon, lettuce and tomato (I have not eaten for a long time), I am a big fan of the sandwich on the BLT platform. This model has three areas: a business service platform, a technology services platformand one link platform which unifies people, data, processes and systems (which in itself probably consists of one or more solutions or "platforms"). Here is the graphical representation of our sandwich platform:

blt platform as a sandwich model Ethan Pack

The BL6T platform model as a sandwich.

A business services platform and a technology services platform represent the bread of our business platform sandwich. And as a real sandwich, the inside of our "bread" faces the internal business while the external consumers and contributors of the organization interact with – or "touch" – the outside. Meat, garnishes and metaphoric condiments come from the tie layer – this vital area is between experience-based packaging and technology-based packaging. Every human and machine component of the company exists here; it contains the essential of "caloric energy" contained in the platform of the company.

There are six categories in the intermediary "liaison" platform:

The work force

Without people, the company does not move (at the time of writing this article, at least). The employees of a company are the focal point of the field of work. People are the facilitators of change, affected by change, and ensure that the functions of the company are successfully fulfilled. This is the most important aspect of the entire enterprise platform.


The majority of the "operational central nervous system" of an organization is here. This domain is about how a company manages business processes and business rules / decisions. The concept of event architecture and reaction to commercial moments is a strong requirement to provide the intelligence and attractive experiences of a platform company.


This area is focused on information management and knowledge management. Our businesses have tons of data and many organizations are not able to use them fully today. I can only imagine how valuable librarianship and information science graduates will be in helping to organize our ever-growing data chests.

Big Book

The different individual, divisional, and company results tables are essential for improving performance and growth. Therefore, this category concerns the storage and analysis of data, connecting the information to the results of the company. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Operational Level Agreements (OLAs) and Service Level Agreements (SLAs), as well as Performance Analysis are at the forefront here.


Many of them have already noticed how inadequate laws and regulations are or do not work in an increasingly digital environment. Whatever the case may be, the rules are the rules and the goal in the legal field is to ensure the legislative and regulatory compliance of the company.


This area covers the history of society, capturing the best aspects of the past and present state, the vision and ambitions of the future state, the past, present and future organizational culture, and how it should be bridge cultural gaps.

Everything in this middle layer is in relation to almost everything else. In this way, the meat of the sandwich platform is the actual business architecture.

While many discussions on the platform focus too much on the surface slices of bread, leaders in architecture and strategy can help put meat at the forefront of their organization's platform ambitions. Bread is the "sandwich delivery system", containing the ingredients inside. While the type of omni-channel experience and the core technology platform (s) selected is important, there is little difference between trends and tools.

Organizations need to improve the quality of people's 'bacon', the coolness of the data and the processing of 'lettuce', the juicy taste of 'tomato' technology, scattered strategic seasoning and cultural condiments spread in the landscape to give their unique flavor. stand out in every byte.

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