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Platformation - FAQ

What is Platformation

In the simplest terms, Platformation™is Sonata’s proprietary framework for driving digital transformation.

Platformation™is a unique way of looking at digital transformation. It is an industry and technology agnostic framework, focusing on platform business models and building platforms to align to the customer’s transformation journey.

What is a platform-based business model and why is it important?

The secret to the success of the best and biggest ‘born digital’ players is their ability to think and execute on platform-based digital businesses backed by building unique technology platforms. At a simple level, platforms can be seen as bringing together three layers to create economic value — a network of value seekers and providers, systems that enable value exchange between them and underlying data that powers matching of value across participants. Firms now need to look at non-linear business models as opposed to a linear demand and supply in a traditional ‘pipe’ structure. Companies today look at ways that bring together vendors, partners, influencers, and customers.

What is the Platformation™ Framework all about?

Digital transformation of businesses can be achieved through a platform-based approach that is focused on the nuances of the vertical or industry of operation. However, the ‘born digital’ players have been disrupting business not only with their platform business models — but also with their underlying platform approach to IT too. The technology environment, application build approach, and the IT operations model work together as one system and to a different rhythm. This is encapsulated in the concept of ‘Platformation’ which covers the four key dimensions of openness, scalability, connectedness, and intelligence. These four dimensions are encapsulated in 16 technology attributes that are central to Platformation.

Integrated Systems Cloud Enabled Distributed Transactions Localization/
Microservice Architecture Multi -Channel/Multi-Device capabilities Intelligent Customer Experience IoT/Telemetry
Automation Multitenancy Security & Compliance Always On
Data Governance Realtime Analytics Context-Aware Services Self-Learning
How is implementing a Platform Business Model different from a normal software project?

Business leaders need to quickly move to transform their business to be ready for the age of platforms. both in terms of business and technology. An immediate priority would be to strategize and implement elements of ecosystem thinking, data-based value enhancement and innovation agility of key systems, as parts of their existing core businesses. This would lead to a structured assessment, both business and technology ecosystems, as they are, and how they need to be. In Platformation, this is the Platform Maturity Assessment.

What is the significance of the Platform Maturity Assessment in Platformation™?

As a part of the initiation of ‘Platformation’, one would have to examine the opportunity that can be capitalized upon, and then embark on a business as well as technology readiness assessment. The business maturity assessment would encompass three key dimensions — leadership and talent, vision and business model and execution approach. Similarly, the platform maturity assessment is also made on three dimensions — digital capability, data and architecture. The existing system’s capability to manage an ecosystem of stakeholders, the ability to leverage data for decision making and the inherent level of flexibility in the application architecture and infrastructure are evaluated. The technology maturity assessment against where the organization stands on each aspect of the 16-point framework.

This assessment then helps map the position of the organisation in one of the following four categories — beginners, technovators, challengers and visionaries, capturing the existing state of the organization. The gap analysis of individual elements of the maturity assessment framework then helps create a business plan to identify the customer’s path to the next level of goals for digital and platform readiness.

What is the significance of Marchitecture in the Platformation™ framework? Why is it key to digital transformation?

One of the main artefacts of Platformation™ is the Marchitecture document. It summarizes the organization after a Platformation™-compliant digital transformation. It is a single, all-encompassing view of the participants in the client’s ecosystem, the business processes that connect these participants, the applications that are used to deliver these business processes and the technology that underlies these applications.

Is Platformation™ relevant only for large-scale digital transformation? Or can it be applied to much smaller deployments?

Platformation™ works at any scale – from the simplest migration of an application or a set of applications to the cloud to a complete restructuring of an organization’s systems, processes and architecture. It’s a framework that guarantees that flexibility and adaptability, regardless of scale.

What are critical items to consider when moving to a platform-based business?

Technology providers are moving swiftly to enable the kind of seamless software infrastructure, development, and operations environment across a range of solution areas such as commerce, analytics, mobility and IoT on cloud so that traditional enterprises can upgrade to platform paradigms for their IT systems. Organisations, once they map themselves against the maturity framework on business, platform and technology should then chart their path on all three dimensions.

What’s critical is to get the technology framework right so that a long-term flexible platform-based business model can be constructed. There are many ways to implement a platform technology framework depending on where the business is and what the short-, medium-, and long-term business goals are. Or there could be other imperatives. The defining factors could be competition, how quickly the business is getting disrupted, how quickly one needs to act and how differentiated one wants the approach to be.

How does Sonata deliver on its Platformation promise?

Sonata’s solution approach reflects three key different ways of executing effective digital platform programs.

Industry-ready: An end-to-end business Platformation™ approach through industry-specific cloud platforms that are being set up by innovators, such as Sonata in this space.

Accelerate: Popular horizontal platforms on leading ISV stacks that a business is already invested into, can be deployed if time, cost, and risks need to be moderated in going platform, especially with specific business process areas.

Custom: A unique set of business features and the willingness to invest time and money in setting up a differentiated platform may mandate an approach where a significant part of the platform is custom-built