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Platformization: Some Common Definitions

Platformization: Some Common Definitions

Product: The physical item, system, and/or service defined, delivered, and supported.

Innovation: The definition and realization of a new solution (i.e., a process, product, service, and/or business approach) to an issue or problem that performs better or delivers more value than any previous solution.

Platform: A foundation upon which functional capabilities, data, and processes are enabled and executed.

Business Platform: An architecture that allows a comprehensive set of heterogeneous functional process enabling capabilities to be packaged and configured to establish and support standardized end-to-end business processes, and related information access and use.

Innovation Platform: A business platform designed to enable an enterprise’s innovation processes. As part of these innovation platforms, it helps its users to create, manage, and re-use information, and intellectual property for maximum business impact and effectiveness.

Product Innovation Platform: An innovation platform that cultivates continuous creativity, yielding improvements in products and processes plus inspiring new and better ones throughout full lifecycles and across generations of a products and product portfolios.

Position Statement: Industrial companies and software providers no longer believe that a single monolithic enterprise information technology application is sustainable and robust enough to serve all of their business functions. Many argue that the complexity of extended enterprise processes, organizational requirements, and information constructs cannot be addressed by any single solution provider, no matter how large. The new business platform paradigm is one in which solutions from multiple providers must be seamlessly deployed using a architecture that is resilient and can withstand rapid changes in individual business functions or delivery modalities. This isn’t about departmental process enablement, or even enterprise enablement, but rather extended enterprise process enablement—enablement that can serve role-based needs yet crosses traditional organizational and system boundaries to support processes that span multiple organizations and roles.

For the domain of product innovation, this extended process enablement must meet the requirements of modern markets and operating models. First and foremost, this means that the innovation process must be calibrated to customer requirements rather than simply be a product-centric process calibrated to research and development. As a result, the platform must integrate to a host of organizational disciplines outside of the traditional engineering and program management disciplines. These disciplines include compliance (e.g., sustainability and safety), manufacturing, service, and marketing. Further, the innovation platform should natively support visualization, closed loop decision making, and intellectual property protection, among other capabilities.

When evaluating platform providers, users should prioritize openness, configurability, flexibility, and adaptability that enables them to connect to best of class functionality for diverse needs spanning research, design, engineering, sourcing, manufacturing, sales, marketing, and service, etc. Ideally, such platforms also enable capabilities conducive to innovation, such as business intelligence and analysis functions as well as social networking.

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