The largest organizations in the world –Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Tesla, Alphabet (Class A), and Alphabet (Class C) – have embraced transformation by developing digital platforms to accelerate their growth. Together, they have over a $10 trillion valuation.
The success of these leading organizations in navigating the platform journey has inspired other enterprises to build digital platforms to transform their business. Enterprises are now seeing the positive business impact that Digital Platform engineering brings.
With the constant evolution of the digital platform and app market over the years, managing organization-wide change, and retaining technical talent have become significant challenges for many companies. Third parties are often engaged to help organizations address their technology needs.
Before embracing digital technology and digital platforms to accelerate growth, a company needs to ask itself two questions:
What are the organizational changes that need to be implemented to drive successful transformation?
How can you solve the talent shortage?
It’s worth noting that when it comes to investing in a digital platform, “the investment is constant and significant,” said Peter-Bendor Samuel, Founder and CEO, Everest Group, during a fireside chat on the subject with Vijay Guntur, President, Engineering and R&D Services, HCL Technologies.
Bendor-Samuel explained that when organizations begin their digital platform journey, they’ll often start with around 100 employees focused on the project. But, as the digital platform demands escalate, the need for more talent rises. Instead of 100, organizations may need 1,000 engineers to continually build and develop the digital platform.
HCL Technologies has had similar experiences while helping its customers to build these digital platforms.
During the fireside chat, Guntur said: “At the beginning, from a tech stack perspective, things look easy and less complex. However, as a digital platform develops to meet the demands in growth, business needs change with time. There’s also a constant evolution in the process with feedback from various stakeholders, including internal employees, customers, and business stakeholders. Once these further changes from stakeholder inputs are implemented, this results in an evolution of how the digital platform functions.”
To meet the pace of demand for these digital platforms, talent is required to innovate, meet business needs, and deliver new experiences.
Guntur continued: “Many of our customers in the software and internet space were the first movers in building these digital platforms. Today, we see many enterprises walking these paths in the medical device businesses, several of the telecom OEMs, and many others.”
Not enough technical talent
With the global shortfall of technology talent, organizations are rethinking their go-to-market approaches and looking outside of their capabilities for new ways to recruit the technical talent they need.
Organizations that are building digital platforms are recruiting as many engineers as they can. However, they are struggling to retain this talent and as a result, are falling short in the capability required to develop transformational digital platforms.
To overcome this challenge, forward-looking organizations are looking to partner with external service providers and vendors.
“We are seeing evolving is a much deeper relationship with third parties,” commented Bendor-Samuel.
Guntur added: “Long-term commitment is a key tenet of HCL Technologies... This is essential when you build a set of products and platforms that constantly require change and innovation.”.
“I believe governance mechanism plays a big role not only in running a digital platform but how we interact with our business IT partners and ecosystem players,” Guntur continued.
As Bendor-Samuel concluded: “The world is changing, and this is exciting. We can do amazing things with technology to gain market share and profitability. It requires us to rethink how we operate.”
Guntur pointed out that: “these perspectives become important as enterprises today look to build digital platforms and extend their capabilities to ensure long-term business viability.”
The value digital platforms bring to businesses can be seen in product firms with an eye on the future. Going digital for growth is necessary for the future of the business. Building digital platforms is a significant investment requiring commitment and governance. It takes effort, talent, partnership ecosystems, and an appetite for continuous change and innovation in the long haul.