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The “third platform”: Is your IT shop ready for the cloud-mobile age?



The folks at IDC have dubbed these as the days of the “third platform” in IT, where mobility, cloud, big data, and social media intersect. In a recent Discover Performance interview, Frank Gens, IDC’s chief analyst and senior VP, shared his thoughts about the third platform, innovation, his participation in HP’s Enterprise 20/20 project — and how IT leaders can prepare their departments for the future.


The third platform is a change just as big as the make-or-break crossroads that IT went through in the late ’80s during the PC era. IT’s current epoch is a period when the adoption of the third platform will be the differentiator between enterprises that adapt and thrive, and those that will wither if they miss the boat.


Companies have arrived at today’s crossroads, Gens posits, because “mobile devices are redefining and stretching the edge beyond where the PC took us.” In place of the old client/server model, he explains, we have the scalability, simplicity and cost-efficiency of the cloud model. “And you’ve got the mobile networks connecting the core and the edge,” he adds, “at a range where you can be almost anywhere on the planet and you’re connected to the digital world.” Gens sees upcoming generations of mobile devices connected to cloud services as “the new foundation for what people will be doing for the next 20 years with IT.”


As a first step into this brave new world, Gens advises that companies identify who the market winners will be among their IT suppliers — and says to look for “that magic intersection of innovation and market share.”


“Who will the Google and Amazon of health service delivery be, of entertainment service delivery, of government service delivery?” he asks. “That’s the exciting part for enterprises. IT starts moving out of the data center and into innovation discussions within the enterprise. You’d expect to see 10, 20, 50 percent of revenues for very large companies riding on top of the cloud and mobile.”


To help IT leaders master the new phase of transformation, Gens digs into:

  • Where IT is in this transition
  • Changes the third platform will bring
  • What consumers can expect
  • How enterprises can prepare for the future

Get the whole story by reading the Discover Performance interview — and find out why Gens thinks that scaling down to the consumer is as powerful a play as scaling up your business via the cloud.

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About the Author


Alec Wagner is a longtime writer & editor, enterprise IT insider, and (generally) fearless digital nomad.

Jan 30-31, 2018
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