The 3rd Platform is radically changing human behaviour and paving the way for Industry 4.0, but what does this mean for businesses?
Where Did We Come From?
During the years of World War II (1939-1945), Alan Turing invented theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence whilst working as a code breaker for British Intelligence. His early work led to the creation of the Turing Machine, which is widely considered the trailblazer that paved the way for the general-purpose computer and the establishment of ‘The 1st Platform’.
In the late 1950s, only a few years after the death of Alan Turing, advances in computer technology led to the creation of The 1st Platform, which consisted or a pair of IBM mainframes. However, it was not until the mid-1980s that The 2nd Platform came to be, when computers were linked via the internet using a server. This was the first client/server system and the technology enabled PCs to access information in the mainframe databases which had previously led the wave of The 1st Platform revolution.
Where Are We Now?
By the early 2010s, developments in Social, Mobile, Analytics (Big Data) and Cloud (SMAC) technologies led to the rapid rise of new applications, such as social media sites, mobile ecommerce and data-driven business insights – this is The 3rd Platform.
These new applications have radically changed the way in which humans behave. Customers, employees and other stakeholder’s lives have irreversibly changed forever, and these changes have led to a transformation in our demands and expectations. As a result, a new generation of digital transformation has been born, which in turn is driving a new industrial revolution.
Where Are We Going?
Next is The 4th Platform. Although there is no consensus on a definition of what The 4th Platform is, it is clear that AI, IoT, Robotics, Quantum Computing and other new technologies are laying future foundations.
What does this mean for businesses? Digital Transformation is now a mandatory strategic objective that business leaders must embrace. As a minimum, Digital Transformation will ensure businesses are able to migrate their functions, operations, processes etc. on to 3rd Platform technologies so they can meet the demands and expectations of today’s customers, employees and wider stakeholders. However, doing the minimum to move on to The 3rd Platform will not be enough for long-term success. The world is changing at an exponential rate and businesses need to develop Agile approaches to strategic development and operational management or risk being left behind.
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