Learn How ISVs must transform to serve broader platform needs

ISVs must transform to serve broader platform needs

Impact of exponential technologies on ISVs

Over the past decade, a perfect storm of digital disruption has altered the technology and business landscape in unprecedented fashion. The impact of exponential technologies such as SMAC, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), on ISVs can be summarized as below:

  • Everything is digitized, and software is the primary driver connecting the smart products, devices, and services

  • In this digital and connected landscape, every company is a software company

  • Every product is delivered and consumed as a service, and product has become a means to deliver a service

  • Unprecedented consumerization and potential for mass adoption

  • Digital speed and rapid pace of technology change and business model innovation

To sum up, exponential technologies have set the stage for exponential change, and gave rise to new product and business models such as enterprise SaaS and digital platforms, to meet the needs of the digital business ecosystem.

Digital platforms to serve digital businesses

Digital businesses are dealing with the new reality that their entire ecosystem including the customers they serve, partners, employees, and a multitude of smart devices (things) is always connected, perhaps erasing the distinction between the physical and digital worlds forever. Even though the impact of this unprecedented level of connectivity will vary from industry to industry, most digital businesses will need multiple technology platforms and capabilities to serve the connected ecosystem, as shown in the image above.

Challenges and opportunities in serving digital platforms

The proliferation of smart devices, the connected landscape, and multitude of digital platforms needed to support a digital business ecosystem – collectively pose some unique challenges, and presents some opportunities for ISVs.

Challenges: Designing and developing for a platform(s), instead of a standalone product is perhaps the biggest challenge confronting an ISV, which calls for a complete change in mindset towards product innovation. Building products for a platform calls for a services-first approach, and not an application mindset. ISVs must aim to support the digital platform with a set of loosely coupled services, which can be easily integrated and combined to create applications that serve the continuously evolving business models.

Opportunities: The digital business landscape offers an unprecedented opportunity to directly connect with the end user/consumer, and the potential to be a part of multiple business models and platforms, leading to new revenue streams. The huge cache of data generated by connected devices, and from real-time product usage, offers potential for decision support systems, new business models, and unexpected avenues for monetization.

Key design considerations for digital platforms

To handle the challenges and leverage the opportunities of serving a digital business ecosystem, ISVs must consider the following key design aspects in developing products and services for a digital platform:

  • Support interoperability, integration, and data exchange through APIs and services

  • Support omni-channel customer experience

  • Support for smart devices and connected products

  • Data capture and analytics for real-time decision support systems

  • Scaling for mass market, security, privacy, and multi-device support

Related Links