On Platforms…

Some time ago I wrote a post that was called “Why PaaS Is The New Black” and it was referring to the growing expected adoption for platforms in the enterprise.

That was 2010 – six years ago – and it was referring to work I had been doing since the mid 1980s around distributed work, computing platforms, and later PaaS.  The statements in there have not changed, but the urgency with which organizations must embrace a PaaS strategy as part of their cloud computing architecture deployments has risen – very fast, and very much.

Given the chaotic state of platforms in the enterprise (where every software vendor promises they have a platform and every IT department is trying to figure out the difference between owning 20 different applications and signing up for 20 different platforms – hint: none) I thought it was high time to dive deeper into trying to explain platforms from the Enterprise IT perspective.

No, I am not foolish enough to fall for the old “explain the cloud in one page” trick that Sameer Patel played on me before.  Once bitten, twice shy… instead I will undertake a series of posts through the year to answer some of the questions I hear from IT and business people on platforms.

note: I will stay away from definitions.  if you need a definition and a good understanding of platforms go to this HBR (Ha-vud, you know) article that does a tremendous job (and saved me easily 2-3 posts if not more) of explaining it (and thanks Brian Vellmure for pointing it out to me — well, tweeting about it).

What are some of those questions (outside of definitions)?  In no particular order (other than remembering since they were more recent conversations)

  • How do we manage  platforms? how can  make sure we manage  platforms and services appropriately considering everyone wants us to use their platforms and services?
  • How can a platform replace costly and complex point-to-point integration?
  • When do we need to use a platform? I will try to include a framework and questions to guide the decision
  • What is the implicit and explicit value of a platform-based solution (by comparison and by extension)?
  • How can we leverage a platform to ensure compliance? 
  • How can our customers leverage our platforms to get what they want? (if this works like I envision it, likely a series of posts using case studies)
  • How to build ecosystems using platforms?
  • What are the economics of using platforms? basic to complex, not economic, models to justify the adoption
  • How can we leverage platforms to access better data and create better experiences for our customers?

It is a tall order, not sure if or when I will be able to cover all this information – but i now have a purpose for this blog.

Is there something else you would like me to cover? explain?

note: you can always read my cloud purist ebook that has a great explanation of platforms and their value…

Vindication On My Position: Social Customer Service Sucks…

I am as tired of telling you not to embark on Social Customer Service as you are of telling me I am a grouchy old man and I don’t get it.


My data and case studies have not convinced you, so let’s try a different approach.  Let’s have someone else show you their data.

Nice and BCG run a study on the subject (link below, registration required) and their data vindicates my positions: abandonment, slow to process, unable to deliver on complex situations, being dropped from investment, etc.

Don’t take my word? no problem – but still… don’t do social customer service.

Excerpt below, and link at the bottom

The report found that the number of consumers using social media to resolve customer service issues has dropped compared to two years ago. While daily, weekly, and monthly use of social media channels doubled between 2011 and 2013, those same categories declined between 2013 and 2015, while the number of respondents who never use or are not offered social media customer service rose from 58 percent in 2013 to 65 percent in 2015.

Respondents who do not use social media cited a number of reasons why. It takes too long to address issues said 33 percent, it has limited functionality reported 32 percent, and it isn’t feasible for complex tasks according to 30 percent. Social media was the channel with the highest percentage of abandons in both 2013 and 2015, with the number rising from 32 percent to 42 percent over that period.


What do you think? Am I just being “jaded, even more so lately” as someone commented following one of my recent presentations (where, I might add, I talked about this same problems…)