Third PlatformThe Third Platform is a loosely defined computing environment made up of technologies just coming into popularity. In more exciting terms, it’s the next phase of the IT revolution. So what is the Third Platform? The general consensus is that the following provide the base of the Third Platform:

  • mobile computing
  • cloud services
  • Big Data analytics (the unstructured and semi-structured information created by businesses in everyday practices)
  • social media

As technology advances and becomes even more incorporated into our daily routines, it’s inevitable that the way we work will be affected by the Third Platform. IT research analysts Gartner sees Third Platform services combining and increasingly reinforcing each other to provide continuous connectivity. Together these services are transforming the way in which people and businesses relate to and harness technology.

Here are 4 reasons why you can’t succeed without the Third Platform:

1. You can’t swim against the digital flow of the Third Platform

According to IDC, worldwide Information and Communications Technology (ICT) spending in 2015 will grow 3.8 per cent to more than £2.5 trillion. Some experts are predicting that the Third Platform will account for 75 per cent of the ICT industry. Business is becoming more rather than less device-based. Mobile computing using smartphones, e-readers and tablets currently accounts for more than half of IT spending worldwide, and it is quickly overtaking the PC and the Second Platform in general.

Businesses users are more often able to choose which type of mobility best suits their needs, such as cloud services and social networks, and with this transfer to wireless computing things are getting done faster and with greater efficiency. No one hoping to compete can afford to be left behind, so investigating in Third Platform services may be the next big step your business needs to take in 2015.[Tweet “Investigating in #Third Platform services may be the next big step your business needs to take.”]

2. You can’t keep up or compete without Third Platform solutions

The Third Platform will involve trillions of devices, sensors and monitors in the next few years. Anything with an IP address will be involved, as will the users of the apps and services connected to the devices. Smart devices will be continuously connected and social networking will continue to flourish, leading people to have a greater online presence and a cloud-based server to support their digital needs.

Embedded devices and predictive maintenance will suggest solutions at the onset of problems, or warn of them beforehand. This could be mean reporting a dwindle level of stock at a warehouse, or highlighting the need for a technological loophole to be closed in the digital manufacture of products. Sending a technician to investigate a vague problem in a warehouse that results in poor supply meeting demand just isn’t the same as an email detailing a faulty wiring connecting in Factory Machine A at Port B where Wire C has burnt through the plastic cable.

The Third Platform will have identified the problem, suggested a solution and ordered a replacement component in the time it takes your technician to reach for his car keys.

3. You can’t connect with consumers as effectively

New business models will arise in the next few years, and these will be directly linked to customer feedback through the Third Platform. Growth will be driven through the use of devices and new IT innovation that is geared toward customer demand. Customer expectations of intuitive devices, uncomplicated access and simple payment models will be the first step in their design, not a happy medium after corporate requirements are met.

4. You can’t be part of the cloud or fully mobile without the Third Platform

Technology First believes that mid-size businesses will be especially prone to spending on cloud services as functions become increasingly virtualised. More than £129 billion will be spent on enabling employees to embrace digital mobility and stay connected outside the office. Profits and productivity are expected to skyrocket as these ambitions are reached, and businesses that choose to stay on the side-lines will be limited to the exact numbers of ergonomic chairs they can fit in the office.

What’s more, data stored in the cloud can be analysed for patterns that can steer future business growth. Patterns present in ‘Big Data’ can be used to create predictions that may eventually improve our daily lives. Once such example is the frequency of illness-related queries addressed to internet search engines. Based on the geographical spread, one such search engine was able to produce a graph predicting outbreaks of sickness across the US. Although huge infrastructure is needed to analyse patterns in the vast amount of user data in the Third Platform, the cloud provides such a place to do so. There is no telling how far businesses will go once they embrace and adapt to using this incredible resource.

It is tempting to wait and see where the chips will fall before committing a large part of your budget to further IT innovation. But it’s clear the Third Platform is here to stay and only getting bigger. Don’t spend so much time mulling over the myriad possibilities before joining the rest of the world in connecting and driving progress forward. After all, the point of business is growth.

Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG at


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