Platform Categories

March 24, 2021

The Swiss Army Knife of Software

From the beginning, platform technologies were developed to enable IT to address a wide range of application and business process use cases.  They are effectively the “Swiss Army Knives of software” with an array of capabilities that teams can use in isolation or combination to address their particular needs.  To aid product teams in the analysis and evaluation of platforms for new initiatives, Digital Forge recognizes thirty high level platform capabilities across two discrete areas that help narrow down the required functionality without overwhelming team members.  “Core Platform” capabilities are those that comprise the underpinning of the platform itself and without which no application can be developed or operated.  “Platform Applications” are those capabilities that the platform vendors have developed as licensable applications on their own technologies that help teams accelerate certain types of use cases.

Core Platform Capabilities

The underlying capabilities of the major players in low-code/no-code platform market are comprised of twelve core functions.  These functions are all integrated with one another to meet the application-specific requirements.

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Capability Area

Description

1

Case Management

Set of activities, notifications, application & data integration to manage a unit of work from beginning to end

2

Data Integration

Integration with existing data stores through modern/industry-standard integration technologies

3

Decisioning Engine

Configurable business rules that can be modified to affect a business process without requiring application changes

4

Omni-Channel Communications

Suite of digital communication channels (email, SMS, text chat, chatbot, secure messaging, co-browse, etc.)

5

Open Architecture & Integration

Integration with internal or external systems through modern/industry-standard integration technologies

6

Performance Measurement

Collection, monitoring and presentment of application and core platform metrics to track business results

7

Processing Modeling & Orchestration

Graphics based configuration of business process modelling and event orchestration for rapid development

8

Reporting

Creation, storage, presentment and distribution of reports encompassing applications, users, groups, alerts, etc. Creation and distribution of reports of platform and application performance

9

Robotic Process Automation

Automation of well-defined but repetitive, manually intensive software tasks reducing human workloads

10

Search

Multi-feature search functionality to locate application data, platform features, alerts, tasks, etc.

11

User Interface Configuration

Platform based drag and drop user interface configuration and deployment

12

Workflow Automation Services

Orchestration of business rules and conditions supporting workflows and their included tasks, activities, business rules, etc.

Platform Applications Capabilities

Designed to serve as a starting point for particular types of applications, these capabilities can be purchased as separate licensable modules from various vendors.

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Capability Area

Description

1

Asset Management

Configurable set of workflows, screens, data definition and storage of an org's assets (hardware, software, facilities, etc.)

2

Content Management

Authoring, approval and publishing of digital content to platform-based web and mobile interfaces

3

Customer Relationship Management

Integrated application encompassing the customer lifecycle (contact mgt, sales, orders, account, communications, etc.)

4

Customer Service Management

Integrated application encompassing the customer's services (help desk, account mgt, requests, issue resolution, etc.)

5

Demand Management

Management of request for new applications (E.g., demand) generated by the business to be fulfilled by the platform

6

Experience Management

Capability to manage an end user's experience across applications, channels, etc. to optimize one's experience

7

Form Management

Design, configuration & deployment of forms to capture structured input data

8

Governance, Risk & Compliance

Integrated application supporting an organization's IT governance, risk management and policy compliance

9

HR Service Delivery

Integrated application encompassing the full employee lifecycle ("hire to retire")

10

IT Operations Management

Capability to manage end-to-end technology infrastructure (E.g., applications, services, storage, network elements)

11

IT Service Management

Configurable workflows and user roles to support internal IT help desk functions, incident mgt, change mgt, etc.

12

Knowledge Management

Authoring, approval and publication of media rich articles for user consumption (E.g., policies, technical guides, etc.)

13

Marketing

Capabilities supporting modern digital marketing processes (email campaigns, social media integration, etc.)

14

Portfolio Management

Collective management of portfolio(s) of applications for an organization

15

Program Management

Suite of application functions, screens, workflows, etc. supporting an organization's IT programs

16

Project Management

Platform applications supporting range of project management functions (Agile, Kanban, Waterfall, Reporting, Status)

17

Project Financial Management

Suite of application functions, screens, workflows, etc. supporting an IT organization's financial processes and controls

18

Resource Management

Platform application supporting management of IT human resources (skills, availability, project association, hours, etc.)

19

Security Operations

Functions and workflows needed to support security monitoring, response, mitigation, etc.

20

Test Management

Suite of testing tools integrated with platform environments to increase velocity and quality of application delivery

About Digital Forge

Digital Forge, LLC advances digital design and transformation of enterprises into world-class, high performing organizations ready to take on the challenges associated with an ever-accelerating emergence of new technologies and increasingly hard to meet customer expectations.  Our integrated digital design and transformation framework encompasses a holistic digital strategy combined with low-code/no-code application platforms and state-of-the-art networking capabilities to ensure your business outperforms competitors and pleases customers for years to come.  With decades of experience in strategy, management and IT consulting experience, our highly skilled experts partner with clients to achieve new levels of success.

About the author

Chip Taliaferro is the Founder and Chief Digital Guy at Digital Forge.  You can connect with him on LinkedIn or directly via email at chip.taliaferro@digital-forge.io