Welcome to Platform 3.0

By Dave Lounsbury, The Open Group

The space around us is forever changing.

As I write now, the planet’s molten core is in motion far beneath my feet, and way above my head, our atmosphere and the universe are in constant flux too.

Man also makes his own changes as well. Innovation in technology and business constantly create new ways to work together and create economic value.

Over the past few years, we have witnessed the birth, evolution and use of a number of such changes, each of which has the potential to fundamentally change the way we engage with one another. These include: Mobile, Social (both Social Networks and Social Enterprise), Big Data, the Internet of Things, Cloud Computing as well as devices and application architectures.

Now however, these once disparate forces are converging – united by the growing Consumerization of Technology and the resulting evolution in user behavior – to create new business models and system designs.

You can see evidence of this convergence of trends in the following key architectural shifts:

  • Exponential growth of data inside and outside organizations converging with end point usage in mobile devices, analytics, embedded technology and Cloud hosted environments
  • Speed of technology and business innovation is rapidly changing the focus from asset ownership to the usage of services, and the predication of more agile architecture models to be able to adapt to new technology change and offerings
  • New value networks resulting from the interaction and growth of the Internet of Things and multi-devices and connectivity targeting specific vertical industry sector needs
  • Performance and security implications involving cross technology platforms , cache and bandwidth strategies, existing across federated environments
  • Social behavior and market channel changes resulting in multiple ways to search and select IT and business services
  • Cross device and user-centric driven service design and mainstream use of online marketplace platforms for a growing range of services

The analyst community was the first to recognize and define this evolution in the technological landscape which we are calling Platform 3.0.

At Gartner’s Symposium conference, the keynote touched on the emergence of what it called a ‘Nexus of Forces,’ and warning that it would soon render existing Business Architectures “obsolete.”

However, for those organizations who could get it right, Gartner called the Nexus a “key differentiator of business and technology management” and recommended that “strategizing on how to take advantage of the Nexus should be a top priority for companies around the world.”[i]

Similarly, according to IDC Chief Analyst, Frank Gens, “Vendors’ ability (or inability) to compete on the 3rd Platform [Platform 3.0] right now — even at the risk of cannibalizing their own 2nd Platform franchises — will reorder leadership ranks within the IT market and, ultimately, every industry that uses IT.”[ii]

Of course, while organizations will be looking to make use of Platform 3.0 to create innovative new products and services, this will not be an easy transition for many. Significantly, there will be architectural issues and structural considerations to consider when using and combining these convergent technologies which will need to be overcome. Accomplishing this will in turn require cooperation among suppliers and users of these products and services.

That is why we’re excited to announce the formation of a new – as yet unnamed – forum, specifically designed to advance The Open Group vision of Boundaryless Information Flow™ by helping enterprises to take advantage of these convergent technologies. This will be accomplished by identifying a set of new platform capabilities, and architecting and standardizing an IT platform by which enterprises can reap the business benefits of Platform 3.0. It is our intention that these capabilities will enable enterprises to:

  • Process data “in the Cloud”
  • Integrate mobile devices with enterprise computing
  • Incorporate new sources of data, including social media and sensors in the Internet of Things
  • Manage and share data that has high volume, velocity, variety and distribution
  • Turn the data into usable information through correlation, fusion, analysis and visualization

The forum will bring together a community of industry experts and thought leaders whose purpose it will be to meet these goals, initiate and manage programs to support them, and promote the results. Owing to the nature of the forum it is expected that this forum will also leverage work underway in this area by The Open Group’s existing Cloud Work Group, and would coordinate with other forums for specific overlapping or cross-cutting activities.

Looking ahead, the first deliverables will analyze the use of Cloud, Social, Mobile Computing and Big Data, and describe the business benefits that enterprises can gain from them. The forum will then proceed to describe the new IT platform in the light of this analysis.

If this area is as exciting and important to you and your organization as it is to us, please join us in the discussion. We will use this blog and other communication channels of The Open Group to let you know how you can participate, and we’d of course welcome your comments and thoughts on this idea.


  1. Great initiative Dave and a natural for The Open Group. Never has boundaryless information flow been more important. Let’s try to avoid hype names attached to this by analyst groups and keep the focus on the content.
    By the way, I may have read too fast but I missed any mention of open data. Let’s make sure we keep that in the picture.

  2. Thanks, Stuart. I believe this area is an example of boundaryless information flow writ large. This time, instead of connecting departments within enterprises or enterprises connecting with trading partners, we’re connecting enterprises with the the data flowing in the greater world, and identifying the tools to cope with that data and make good and timely business decision on it.

    Regarding open data: This is a big space, so we’ll look to our members to lead us to the right topics. I look forward to the conversation!

  3. Looking forward to this forum. I’ve been advocating the mentioned subjects as “Social Enterprise Architecture” for quite some time now. Hoping for some good discussions and insights from peers.

    1. Thanks, Martin. while I think the scope goes beyond social to include other sources of data, e.g., networked sensors, I definitely agree that it needs to look beyond the traditional enterprise boundaries. I look forward to talking with you in the Forum.

  4. Thanks Dave for opening up this initiative for everyone else. In true sense now is the time when enterprises and businesses will have to integrate with the boundary less flow of data over internet. Internet becoming the real Platform now with humans, devices and organizations all living on it.

  5. Many thanks for raising this as a Forum in The Open Group. Its looks very familar with the wording from the slide deck 😉 The development of converged digital and other types of ecosystems is now upon us andan new synthesis is needed to handle multiple systems that are accessing and using cloud infrasturcture technology, new forms of social and meta data abd services. The term 3.0 is an interest one in the sense it suggests a new federated architectuyre beyond client server distribuedt architectures that have been exposed to external access as seen in the first cloud evolution. We now have new levels og hybrid interactions combined different emerging and contextually driven services that compose and alter user experience and marketplaces that previously had not been envirsioned. Devices, tablets and other end point devices are “floating” and in motion in terms of the dynamic data and semantic services that are now emerging as the new next generation architecture patterns evolve across social, mobility, big data, cloud, embedded devices and on into the intenert of things and beyond. We need to champion new architecture thinking that expresses then new multiplicty and multiplexing of resources , services, entitires and connections. Digital innoavtion and (and cross over into new non-digital links to bio-imaging and ugemnted intelligence at the frontiers) are changing how own traditional IT was and is still perceived as inanimate and invisiblity, This is not the case as cyber threats represent the fifith theater, platforms and brokeing create second levels of abstraction at the store catalog and service endpoints and the long tail of choice and solotuins is nolong two dimensional but multi-facetted and richly complex reflecting an ever more combined existing of physical and vritual environments intertwinning in our everyday lives. This is certainly the digital nexus or ecosystem we have long considered beyond the basic cloud services ideas in some of the work in the Clou computing Work Group. It represents a wider range of workloads and interactions that move beyond the initial internet and web services into a new set of solutoon architectures and technology strategies. Current university and leading thinkers in this area are already moving this direction and The Open Group is well places to develop this confluence of ideas into new strategicideas and computer science things and guidance

      1. Yes sure, happy to be a speaker on this. Please include me in on this. Ive lecture on Digital Ecosystems and Digital Transformation on Master degree programs and PhD support at my local University. Its a topic dear to my heart

        best regards

  6. Hi Dave,

    To echo others – a most welcome and a most needed initiative!

    In my experience we already see some rift between Enterprises that are able to capitalize on ‘Platform 3.0’ and Enterprises that are not. As has already been stated ‘open data’ or at least the ability to use the data of an Enterprise as well as big-data across the various opportunities without too much lock-down and lock-in is becoming increasingly important as will agile models for how to best utilize these opportunities.

    And agility is key to at least some of the use-cases. In mobility, for instance, there is still a significant first-mover advantage and to capitalize on that the architecture patterns used must be adaptable, nimble, robust and first and foremost easy and very fast to use. A window of opportunity in that space simply cannot wait for a drawn-out architecture evaluation and weeks of modelling – period.

    This offers some unique challenges for architects and for Open Group as mentioned in the blog. Challenges to come up with _solutions_ for businesses needing to or wanting to take advantage of the Platform 3.0 possibilities. I really look forward to this initiative. I really believe Open Group can make a positive difference.

  7. Yes, great initiative. This provides a real opportunity for The Open. Let’s not only include the latest developments like Cloud, Mobile and BIG Data, but also benefit from the business architecture profession as developed by the Open Business Working Group. That profession provides a controlled approach and language to match market demand, strategic intent and IT Delivery operations. Platform 3.0 is after all indicating nothing more than probably a set of services, enabled by new technologies and serving specific (newly arising?) business needs.
    It would be great to contribute to this development.
    Kind regards

  8. Platform 3.0 / Nexus / … is a good Forum charter – but I feel that the proposed scope does not cover all topics related to future computing and other emerging technologies (e.g. nanotechnology) or to the impact of those technologies on how organizations are structured and operate. A computing Grand Unified Theory is well, grand, but is by definition focused on the integration of the computing technologies that are new today into the Platform – the unifying architecture. In parallel I believe that we should re-purpose aspects of the Cloud WG into a new WG with the charter of identifying disruptive innovations (which may or may not be computing and/or technology-centric) and then nimbly enabling early stage adoption of each innovation by defining corporate and IT governance and business and IT architecture considerations, as well as best practices for revenue generation and/or cost center deployments. The definitions would be in the context of an innovation management process. A CMO doesn’t (directly) care how business analytics, cross-channel personalized marketing, and mobile apps get enabled by IT – let alone the specifics of the organization’s IT platform.

    1. Yes agree, I developed a similar view yesterday in things about cross platforming issues between mobile, social, IoT, cloud , big data and there connected evolution. Managing policy concerns across these is a real issue that CMOs as well as CIOs have in my experience. The fragmentation of emails and single voice of the customer perspectives is a classic eCRM and eMRKT challenge. I see eGRC and business portfolio as key topics in the Platform 3.0 value management and future business and technology innovation road mapping. A basic feature of any innovation process I’ve seen. I have some slides on this an plan to share in the right context as the forum starts etc

    2. I don’t think this is quite correct in its assertion that Platform 3.0 it’s a integration only scope of existing technology ideas and platforms. By its very nature mobility, social, big data , cloud, IoT embedded devices are both platforms , services and resources that are intersecting and creating new combinations of business and technology capabilities. These are evolving constantly and the issue is how these are brought in and out of a usage scenario. This does not preclude the possibili of new future versions and new technology insertion and development. In my recent research on this I’ve seem probably at least four ovarching use cases in how the lifecycles on such an ecosystem may be described. The point on system to system integration is just the first use case and there are many others such as the blog comment on eGRC and business portfolio , a critical issue in such an ecosystem
      .UC1. System to system relationships
      .UC2. Multi system strong and weak connections
      .UC3. Multi system coordination and communities relationships
      .UC4. Multi system change and adaption ( the future innovation example)

      Is see many of these as recursive and able to work at many levels of service and resource granularity ironing from large scale communications , spaces, building, facilities, rooms, walls, pads, tabs, micro, nano, pico, quantum as these are just classifications of how devices and sensors are defining,
      for example micropumps to System to system combinations. The lifecycle point is backed up with academic research into reinforcing and destructive cycles (virtuous cycles from the old MBA days) and how generative cycles are developed for growth and sustainability for example. This is certainly something we should be aiming at in platform 3.0 to define how to grow business across multi platforms and the business models and monetization methods of this etc

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