Cloud computing makes it possible to create new “business operations platforms” that will allow companies to change their business models and collaborate in powerful new ways with their customers, suppliers and trading partners – stuff that simply could not be done before.
-Peter Fingar, Dot.Cloud: The 21st Century Business Platform
By using a single platform, applications share the same data, social network, and user security. Any application has access to any data, flow or task. Therefore, workflows and business processes can be shared among customers, departments, and external agencies, all without disruption. With everyone using the same platform, there’s no need to reproduce or copy-and-paste data into different systems depending on who is working from where.
Fragmented solutions built on multiple platforms are expensive to maintain in aggregate. Siloed applications are harder to pull into an interconnected ecosystem. Having just one platform supports the move from monolithic applications for groups of users to multiple user-centric applications built on a common platform.
The following example compares the complexity of building and maintaining applications with and without an enabling platform:
Every mobile app has to get its own information from one or more legacy applications.
This example becomes even more complex if work is being done by different organizations, each of which has its own systems. By definition, there is no centralized database, no integrated workflow, and no communication and collaboration medium.
So the only effective solution is to create a virtual layer on which all these entities can play.
With a situational process platform, it is much simpler to build and change mobile apps, since they don’t have to be concerned about finding and integrating data from legacy systems on their own.