I’ve been reflecting on the substantial changes in our economic, political, and environmental climates over the last year. And, because I work with industrial companies, I’ve been considering how technology can enable or disable their resilience (the ability to continue forward despite external factors) in these times. Both applications and technology platforms have benefits and costs. For the highest flexibility, scalability, and resilience both are necessary and should seamlessly connect to one another - but that’s hard to find.
Before I dive in, some definitions:
Technology Platform: the foundation for building and running business applications. Typical technology platforms include system connectivity, toolsets, data contextualization and definition, support for programming, standards, data science enablement and integration layers. Examples include Microsoft Azure or AWS.
Point Solution or Application: tool, product, or service that delivers on one, singular value proposition for an organization. Application examples include maintenance management, energy monitoring, and reporting. Applications typically include only those platform functions necessary to run that one app.
You can see the problem - in uncertain times - BOTH the flexibility and scalability of a technology platform AND the rapid time to value and cost benefits of an application are needed, yet easy integration between the two is hard to find.
So where does that leave companies with one or the other? Companies who have chosen an application centric approach may find it difficult to pivot as outside forces change. Think a customer with a quality application who just received a 'reduce energy now' mandate. Companies who went platform have the means to pivot, but writing code can be time consuming and rarely scales well.
The best answer is to find technology companies who have blended the ease and speed of applications with the scalability and extensibility of a platform. Look for companies providing wide ranging connectivity to data sources, data classification structures, multiple data science and analysis and many applications 'out of the box'.
If you're interested in seeing how TwinThread handles this - check this out: TwinThread Platform Overview
November 10, 2022