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Digital Business Success: The Art of Treating ‘Platforms’ as ‘Products’

by - ThoughtFocus | September 29, 2023 |

Businesses today, navigating digital transformation often rely on frequently used platforms, which are treated as products by IT and business executives. ThoughtFocus has worked with many global organizations implementing their platform solutions. Our experience reveals that leadership’s treatment, perception and understanding of various platform development, platform benefits or platform features significantly influences whether they give platforms a highest pedestal – should they be treated as products (platforms as products) or not, a crucial factor for digital business innovation and success. 



Here’s how, Platform as a Product (PaaP) can significantly enhance and empower an organization’s innovation in several ways:  

Platform as a Product (PaaP) is a platform that empowers internal teams by offering services, tools, and capabilities to build their own applications and solutions. It allows them to experiment, innovate, and rapidly develop innovative ideas without being burdened by infrastructure complexities.  


PaaP accelerates development cycles by providing reusable components, APIs, and integration points, reducing development time and effort. It promotes collaboration and knowledge sharing among internal teams, allowing them to share experiences, best practices, and learnings.  


PaaP also encourages experimentation, innovation, and iteration by providing a safe environment for prototyping, testing, and refining innovations. It can integrate emerging technologies into the platform, making them readily available to internal teams.  


It encourages user feedback and co-creation by engaging internal teams as active participants in the platform’s development and evolution. It can extend beyond internal teams to facilitate cross-functional, external collaboration and partnerships, bringing diverse perspectives, expertise, and ideas into the organization.  



Here’s the stark contrast – Organizations that treat and perceive platforms as products to be far more ‘effective’ vs those that are ‘not’ at a higher level –

First, the typical traits of businesses that are ‘not’ at a high level and ‘do not’ treat Platforms as products- 

Their projects involve a mixture of multiple groups building multiple components. They largely measure platform success based on technical capabilities. Moreover, major projects are predominately built ‘on-premise’ focusing on consistent user requests and inputs or tickets, forms, and input, and largely using ITIL/ITSM in operations. 


Whereas the typical qualities of growth-oriented businesses that treat ‘Platform as a product vastly include- 


They (businesses) focus on increasing investments, have empowered product owners. Their measuring of success is based on consumption and impact, focusing on enhancing user experience, simplifying platform consumption, and using DevOps and Agile in their daily operations. 



The right approach –

To create better platforms, companies should seek a business partner with aggressive digital transformation objectives and create a cross-functional platform product team. Providing ongoing funding for at least three years can help the team succeed. Remove roadblocks in the path to the cloud and create measurable goals based on platform usage and impact. Establish ground rules for the team, such as being in command of quality, architecture, operations, and security.  


Treat ‘all’ input message as ‘error’ and focus on minimally viable features. Use products or services like Agile and DevOps to build software that no longer requires input. Focus on minimally viable features and seek a partner like ThoughtFocus to assist, train, and pair the team. 


If a company treats IT platforms as products, its platform product team will be viewed as rock stars for their contribution to digital transformation. IT leaders should advocate for increased funding and exposure to the digital world. By adopting these strategies, companies can create better platforms and increase their exposure and return. 


Overall, Platform as a Product approach and mindset creates an environment that empowers teams, accelerates development cycles, encourages collaboration, and provides access to emerging technologies, fostering a culture of innovation, and learning within an organization, which is highly crucial for business continuity and success in current times. 


ThoughtFocus’ scalable platforms, powerful frameworks, reusable components, and CI/CD pipelines powered by its solutions and accelerators help many global and ISV businesses achieve their go-to-market and accelerated product development goals. Write to us at for more information.