Siloed data, cumbersome legacy platforms that lack integration, and costly hardware are some of the IT challenges that plagued businesses in the pre-cloud era. With more organisations increasingly adopting cloud platforms, these challenges are disappearing, replaced by the opportunity to become more connected, efficient, and future-proof.
Driving this change is a new breed of cloud platform – the ecosystem platform. Unlike traditional cloud platforms that provide a single business solution, an ecosystem platform can provide businesses with a highly-integrated set of applications.
The imperative to embrace the ecosystem platform
With growth and digital transformation being the top business priorities for CIOs of midsize enterprises, ecosystem platforms are now key to achieving sustainable business growth, according to Gartner.
“As part of an overarching digital business technology platform, MSEs (midsize enterprises) should build an ecosystem platform to strengthen their competitiveness and enable sustainable business growth,” says vice president at Gartner, Luis Anavitarte.
“By focusing on the ecosystem platform, you can build the digital business technology platforms over time as your digital business expands — and may even find that they are not all needed.”
Kerry Agiasotis, Sage Asia-Pacific executive vice-president, says with the rapid adoption of cloud technologies driving unprecedented change to business models and where business are increasingly being valued on the strength of their ecosystems, it’s now imperative for businesses to embrace platforms.
“Everything in our lives is becoming interconnected. In a business sense, these connections include integrating software with suppliers and customers to drive speed and efficiencies and to benefit from the advantages of platform ecosystems.”
“Proactive innovation is all about getting into the driver seat of change and not being a passenger.”
Seizing the ecosystem platform opportunity
Adoption of a digital platform, Gartner says, will shape an organisation's strategic thinking around the concept of platforms, helping employees share best practices, achieve operational and strategic innovation, achieve rapid prototyping, and bring new business capabilities to market faster.
According to Kerry Agiasotis, the right ecosystem platform can help businesses become more agile, integrated and automated ‘connected business’.
“They help drive efficiencies across multiple business functions, are more affordable, and easier to implement,” says Agiasotis.
A market leader in cloud business management solutions, Sage last year launched Sage Business Cloud. Built on the Salesforce platform, Sage Business Cloud combines a broad range of Sage cloud products with the Salesforce app marketplace – allowing enterprises to build out their ecosystem on a single, seamlessly integrated, and scalable platform.
With platforms like Sage Business Cloud, businesses small and large can now take advantage of the connected business environment that’s opening doors for players in many industries, including manufacturing, finance, healthcare, telco, utilities, and transport.
“Cloud brings new levels of technology affordability to businesses, especially smaller businesses. They no longer need to buy expensive hardware knowing it will be underutilised. The software is available on-demand to be consumed in a similar way to utilities such as electricity or water. Essentially, connected businesses can do more with fewer resources and they can do it faster,” says Agiasotis.
“We are going through one of the most important times in history. As technologists, we have the opportunity to go far beyond where we traditionally played and move towards optimisation and automation.”
Article by Sage EVP Kerry Agiasotis