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Changing the way that businesses leverage technology

Business leaders are changing the way they source and utilise technology. Cloud computing and software-as-a-service herald new delivery models that can be accessed faster and at lower cost than traditional on-premise capabilities. Cloud-based technology platforms deliver huge benefits but also demand new methods for procurement, governance, management and integration. Used properly, these technologies can foster new levels of organisational agility, innovation and enable new digital business models.

John Hagel in Deloitte’s Business Trends 2015 describes platforms as “help[ing] to make resources and participants more accessible to each other on an as-needed basis. Properly designed, they can become powerful catalysts for rich ecosystems.” Hagel highlights key elements that help support a platform include a well-defined governance structure as well as standards and protocols to facilitate connection, coordination and collaboration.

At Deloitte we apply this definition to the technology that underpins businesses and their ecosystems, whether it’s a new capability or as an approach to liberating the value in existing assets.

Architecting and deploying these resources (applications, data, infrastructure) as a platform allows participants to configure services to meet their needs.  These platforms are self-contained and have a well-defined set of secure protocols and interfaces that facilitate collaboration with these participants, which could be other platforms, staff, customers and external organisations.

The benefits are clear when thinking about and deploying technology this way:

  • Embracing the rapid changes in technology means that organisations are less likely to find themselves ‘painted into a corner’ with technologies that aren’t interoperable.
  • As platforms are self-contained, it isolates technologies into domains, allowing intra platform change to happen at a different pace to inter platform, without overly impacting each other.
  • This approach allows organisations to leverage lower cost technologies and services when they become available without having to incur substantial cost.
  • It allows the business to implement new ways of working, enabling them to respond to opportunities and threats in a way not possible before.

Technology platforms are a key enabler for organisational agility but they are only part of the solution, as the value of platforms is only truly unlocked when the entire organisation operates in the same way, following the same cadence.

The business needs to be configured in a manner to leverage these platforms, so that:

  • Governance, risk and compliance becomes more agile, operating at speed, whilst still protecting the needs of stakeholders.
  • Finance and investment aligns to the delivery of customer, and hence business value.
  • Teams, skills and culture are reimagined to leverage this new capability else run the risk of blocking delivery.
  • Data and information is made available, when needed, to support the required speed of decision-making.
  • The service model, across value chains, is flexible enough to respond to opportunities and counter threats.

Just as platforms connect ecosystems to deliver value, Deloitte Platform Engineering connects our services to deliver new client propositions.

Deloitte Platform Engineering offers five services to build and operate platforms:

  • Build platforms that have secure, data-rich, integrations/APIs; liberating value in existing assets and emitting events that are of interest to the business and operations.
  • Build cloud-native applications that execute as a platform with unprecedented flexibility and robustness.
  • Automate inter and intra platform processes to improve productivity and resilience.
  • Deliver technology enabled transformation programs using a platform-based architecture, orchestrating the delivery of multiple technologies and service providers.
  • Manage platforms as a service for our clients.

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Clifford Foster

Clifford Foster

Partner, Platform Engineering

Clifford is a Partner in Deloitte’s Financial Services Consulting business, with more than 20 years management consulting and IT delivery experience. He has worked with banks and insurers in Australia... More