Digital platform strategy takes centre stage at Gartner Symposium



Digital platform strategy took centre stage at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, which is taking place in Orlando through Thursday.

During the opening keynote today at the event, Gartner analysts defined a digital platform as a business-driven framework that allows a community of partners, providers and customers to share and enhance digital processes and capabilities or to extend them for mutual benefit.

The research firm pointed out that every organization needs a digital platform strategy, and bold, modern leadership skills by CIOs are required to develop business ecosystems.

The framework allows for different combinations of business models, leadership, talent, deliver and IT infrastructure platforms that power digital business ecosystems.

However, Gartner analysts said decades old organizational strategies will inhibit digital transformation.

The future organizational structure is cross-functional and bimodal. Bimodal is the practice of managing two separate but coherent styles of work: one focused on predictability; the other on exploration.

“Get rid of all habits that inhibit your bimodal leadership,” said Daryl Plummer, managing vice president and Gartner Fellow. “Turn bimodal into a continuous process. Not for just a single set of projects, but as an ongoing discipline.”

Digital platforms allow for companies to pursue business models that bring together multiple buyers and sellers. The platform business model is used by the most valuable companies in the world today.

For example, designers of smart cities will build ecosystems to bring together partners of all sizes. Banks will bring new products and services to customers via an ecosystem of fintechs.

“Business ecosystems will form to improve your enterprises and help tackle some of our world’s biggest challenges,” said Hung LeHong, vice president and Gartner Fellow.

“Enterprises are digitalizing all the things we use: appliances, automobiles, hospitals, wearables, and payments,”  LeHung continued.

Companies such as Apple, Google, and Tencent will take the ecosystem business models they have developed in areas such as e-commerce, music apps and search, and extend their tentacles into the connected world we have collectively created. They plan on making the physical world an extension of digital, into a world they control.