Organizations’ need to drive innovation and growth, coupled with a limited budget and the mainstreaming of consuming technology “as-a-service”, is creating the perfect condition for integrated platform solutions.
Susan Tan, research director at the Gartner research group (http://www.gartner.com) says that new technologies — such as cloud, mobile, analytics, social, sensors and in-memory computing—- offer the promise of innovation and creation of competitive advantages. However, enterprises face challenges to their adoption. Organizations still struggle with tight budgets and inflexible legacy systems, and many organizations lack resources, skill sets, appetite and time to adopt these new technologies in a conventional manner.
Traditional implementations that take months and years to build cannot be agile enough to keep up with changing technologies or respond quickly to fleeting market opportunities, Tan says. Besides, there are so many new technologies coming down the pike — many of which are promising but still unproven — and with limited capital, organizations find it hard to build a case for adopting such technologies. This is where integrated platform solutions come in.
Integrated platform solutions are integrated ready-to-deploy solutions offered by IT service providers, and they provide as-a-service solutions to specific business problems, according to Tan. They typically target processes aimed at growth and innovation, rather than cost savings, and are delivered in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) or business process as-a-service (BPaaS) manner.
As IT service providers look at offering more of these solutions, Gartner predicts that by 2018, 20% of spending on new technologies will be on fully integrated as-a-service platform solutions.
Mature processes (such as payroll, order to cash, procure to pay and hire to retire) and some vertical processes (such as insurance claims processing, financial trade settlements and airline reservations) are already offered by some providers in a platform-enabled BPaaS manner; however, these tend to be mature back-office processes that are focused on cost savings rather than on growth and innovation.
Gartner says that new opportunities lie in innovations in processes and business models, such as digital marketing, mobile wallet, white-label app stores, electronic commerce (e-commerce), multichannel customer experience, sustainability solutions and new data-intensive applications that produce real-time insights.