Platform Building Thoughts

Tuesday, October 23, 2012 |

Ran across a post from someone who is pondering platform building.  As someone who has been building platforms for a while, I figured I should provide some feedback!


There are very few standards in this area.  Few can even agree on what a "platform" truly means.  OMG is doing some work around the cloud based platforms, but it's more about the cloud than it is about a platform.  With that in mind, a couple of thoughts:

Tenets of building a platform are very familiar to those of us who came out of SOA and BPM worlds.

  • First, encapsulation of each sub-capability of the overall platform with proper granularity to get to modifiability.  This addresses points 4 and 5.  
  • Second, build the "structural steel" into the platform - things like measurement, management, and security (to name a few) usually wind up being bolted on after the "minimum required functionality" is achieved.  In the world of platform thinking, they ARE an integral part of the minimum required functionality. 
  • Third, build to patterns of technology capabilities - not technology.  The only known known is that technology will change.  The modifiability of platforms becomes critical, as does the classification of technology capabilities.  
  • Fourth, build the platform one piece at a time.  The capability model of the platform should be (mostly) known up front.  The iterative approach can then be used to "fill" the pieces of the capability model as it evolves in response to market and regulatory pressures.  


Finally...  Platform building is a ride, from highs of the peaks (of inflated expectations) to the lows of the troughs (of disillusionment.)  Steady leadership is more than just important - it is a requirement.

Regards,

AAB

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