What is a Digital Platform (Infographic) - A Complete Guide

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By: Sagar Sharma

What is a Digital Platform? Everything You Need to Know about Digital Platform

The digital revolution has helped organizations to transform their different business operations and processes to attain better growth in this competitive edge.

With the emergence of Digital Transformation, innovative and high-tech digital platforms are developed using the latest technologies. Such platforms help organizations focus more on defining new business strategies that help dominate and disrupt the market, deliver compelling customer experiences, and offer a new form of value creation and innovation.

This might have increased your curiosity to know what is a digital platform. Reading this post, you will get exclusive insights about all the essential aspects of a digital platform as listed below.

Digital Platforms transform the market competition across all industries and help companies to leverage accelerated business growth.

Are you excited to learn about the digital platform in detail? Let’s get started with the definition.

What is a Digital Platform?

If we understand the digital platform in simple terms, it is a software solution that helps organizations to serve their products and services through online businesses to run their business effectively.

According to Gartner, ‘Digital platforms exist at many levels. You can find high-level platforms (that provide a business model) to low-level platforms (that offer a collection technology and /or business capabilities) that other products or services consume to deliver their own business capabilities.’

Let’s get deeper clarity on what is a digital platform.

A digital platform is a technology-enabled business model that creates value for an organization by allowing exchanges amongst two or more interdependent groups. The platform brings different business users together to transact with each other.

Using the digital platform companies can quickly share quality and accurate information with the users to innovate new products and services and enhance the collaboration across the different users of the business ecosystem. Connecting two or more sides of your business, the digital platforms create powerful network effects and improve the value as more members participate.

To allow the participants to share the data to create new services, the development of the digital platform can be accelerated by integrating third-party application programming interfaces (APIs). There are many digital platforms available “as a service” basis that uses modern technology stack.

The digital platforms operate with all clear governance conditions that protect data ownership and intellectual property and foster thrust amongst the different users.

3 Distinct Features of Digital Platforms

1 – Open and Shared Data

The digital platform enables organizations with open and shared data that can be mined intelligently by experts to get better insights about the industry and create new forms of value. It also allows companies to monitor customer behavior at scale.

Allowing all the participants with data access, the digital platform drives transparency in your business process and accuracy in your data management.

2 – Network Effect

By developing and implementing a digital platform, you can bring the different users of your business ecosystem under a single roof. By bringing more market participants together, you allow your partners and merchants to attract a great number of customers and vice versa.

This will shift the risk and cost of creating the market from business to network. As the network expands, the digital platform divides the burden between the participants.

The networking effect applies to those businesses that want to build a platform to connect the users such as organizations, suppliers/vendors, and end customers. This is less applicable to businesses that want a digital platform for their business growth.

3 – Concurrence of Technologies

As discussed earlier, the utilization of advanced technologies not only helps organizations improve the business process but also delivers great customer experiences. You can harness the potential of cloud, artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation, industrial internet, analytics, mobility, and many more modern technologies while developing a digital platform.

Consideration of the “as-a-service” digital platform creates a huge impact on investment levels, cost to serve, and speed to market. By integrating business processes, infrastructure, and software with the digital platform, small to large-scale organizations can take the benefits of modular, scalable, and plug-in services.

The major advantage of the platform to the enterprises is they have quick and easy access to new markets and distribution channels without investing the full cost of a platform on business upfront.

What are the Capabilities of Digital Platforms?

Basic Digital Platform

Digital platforms allow organizations to run online businesses. It enables organizations with all the required facilities that optimize their business processes.

To run an online business, businesses need to keep updating product information and web content. It enables you with eCommerce capabilities to sell the products online and allows for digital transactions with suppliers/vendors, retailers, and customers.

These are the very common capabilities of digital platforms and you will find them in almost all the popular platforms.

Advanced Digital Platform

There are leading digital platforms like Pimcore that allow you to go beyond just product, content, and commercial transaction management.

You can build a custom digital platform as per your specific business needs where you can manage your customers, vendors, suppliers, and distributors’ related information. Also, you can manage all the marketing operations to promote and grow your business through a single platform.

So, technically, an advanced digital platform takes care of all the activities that you need to perform in the after-production phase.

To manage multiple operations, a digital platform utilizes different frameworks. Let’s explore what these frameworks are.

Frameworks that are Used for Digital Platform Development

frameworks of digital platform

 

Product Information Management (PIM)

To sell products on a website or an eCommerce store, companies need to keep updating the product information. You might deal with thousands of products with hundreds of attributes.

When you manage such massive data in a spreadsheet or PDF, it could be error-prone. Considering a PIM while developing a bespoke digital platform, you can manage your large volume of product information in a single platform and in a well-structured and logical way.

Moreover, a modern digital platform offers multi-currency and multilingual support so you can publish your product information in the native language of your customers. This makes it easier for your target audience to consume information and take action instantly.

Implementation of PIM ensures accurate product information management and consistent product data distribution across multiple sales channels.

PIM Capabilities that Empower Digital Platform

  • Product Data Modeling
  • Product Data Management
  • Product Data Integration and Delivery
  • Product Data Quality / Semantic
  • Workflow Management

Digital Experience Platform (DXP) / Content Management System (CMS)

You can make changes in your web content as per the changing business needs and customers’ expectations using a friendly content management system.

The advanced digital platform supports multiple languages, you can build a website in your preferred language and promote it in different regional languages as per the countries you are planning to target.

DXP / CMS Capabilities that Empower Digital Platform

  • Manage Personalized Experiences
  • Single Source of Truth
  • Multi-channel Publishing
  • Content, Commerce, Contextualization
  • Marketing Automation
  • Scalability and Usability

Digital Asset Management (DAM)

In most businesses, digital assets are scattered as they are used to manage in the local folders. This makes matching and mapping of product information with the digital asset extremely difficult as they are available across different systems.

You can integrate the Digital Asset Management framework into a digital platform to manage all your digital assets such as images, videos, intellectual properties, policies, rules and regulations, documents, and other files in your preferred format.

DAM Capabilities that Empower Digital Platform

  • Digital Asset Consolidation
  • Meta Data Management
  • Asset Portal Extension
  • Workflow Management
  • Digital Asset Delivery

Digital eCommerce Platform

Manufacturers and retailers can easily manage their B2B and B2C business by considering an eCommerce platform. It simplifies complex digital transformation by creating personalized experiences for your targeted users.

Integrating digital Commerce with the digital platform you can manage eCommerce-related operations effortlessly including price, catalog, products, etc.

Digital eCommerce Capabilities that Empower Digital Platform

  • B2B & B2C eCommerce Framework
  • Customer Experience Management
  • eCommerce for PIM
  • Catalog Management
  • Complex Product Price Management

Customer Data Platform (CDP)

Knowing customers is a critical requirement of today’s business era. No matter how good the products you are producing, if your customers don’t like them, then there is no meaning in the existence of your product.

Customer Data Platform not only manages, stores, and consolidates customer information, but also helps you to understand customer behavior and enables them with the products that they are looking for. This helps businesses to drive customer engagement and improve conversion rates.

CDP Capabilities that Empower Digital Platform

  • Customer Data Integration
  • Customer Data Modeling
  • Customer Profile Unification
  • React-time Personalization
  • Automation

Master Data Management (MDM)

Manage all your organizational data including products, customers, suppliers/vendors, retailers, employees, partners, accounting, operations, and more using the Master Data Management framework. MDM allows you to manage reference data, location data, and asset data too. It is a single source of through for all your data.

MDM allows organizations to manage all the data including hierarchy, structure, validation, enrichment, and versioning with translations, documentation, descriptions, and other data.

MDM Capabilities that Empower Digital Platform

  • Data Quality/Semantic
  • Hierarchy Management
  • Rich Content Integration
  • Audit Trail
  • Superior Connectivity
  • Workflow Management

While understanding what is a digital platform, detailed insights about its essential frameworks are very important for you to know how a digital platform helps you to achieve your business goals.

5 Benefits of Considering A Digital Platform for Your Business

Benefits of Digital Platform

1 – Faster Time to Market

A digital platform enables you with every component that helps you to establish a stronger online presence and run the online business seamlessly. Allowing businesses to manage all the organizational data in a centralized repository, helps in effective data consolidation.

This allows you to launch your products with less turnaround time and make them available to your customers instantly.

2 – Transform Your Customer Experience

People are constantly adopting the latest digital technologies, apps, and social media that help them in making their lives easier. They desire to have valuable solutions to address their day-to-day and any specific challenges. And, they look for solutions that meet their expectations faster.

While developing a digital platform, the customer experience is a key element to take care of. And, adoption of the latest technologies helps them to improve customer experience.

According to Forbes, 92% of leaders develop mature digital transformation strategies to boost customer experience.

According to McKinley, the essential factors of the digital transformation process that help in improving customer experience are as below.

  • Design and develop customer journeys
  • Achieve customer adoption of digital customer journeys
  • Increase agility and speed in insights
  • Develop agility in delivering journey transformations

Companies that adopt the digital platform will earn more respect and authority from customers.

3 – Data-driven Insights

This is the most important benefit of considering a digital platform. It has capabilities of data collection, management, consolidation, and analysis too. Advanced digital platforms have the ability to track metrics and analyze the data collected through digital marketing efforts. With these insights, you can optimize your business processes and strategies to gain better results.

The core objective of any business is to reduce operational costs and increase revenue. By integrating data-driven insights into your company culture, you can easily achieve it.

Data-driven insights help you to understand your customers and accordingly redesign your business strategy to provide agility, personalization, real-time feedback, and relevancy to the customers.

To get exclusive insights out of your data, it is compulsory to consider your structured data and unstructured data. Collect all the data from many sides of your business to define the right transformation journey for your organization.

Data plays a key role in the decision-making process. By adopting a data-driven approach throughout the organization, you can leverage the higher ROI by investing less.

4 – Encourages Collaboration

Digital Platform brings your internal and external business entities on a single platform to collaborate effectively about the products and different aspects related to the products. You can allow your sales, marketing, and operational teams to manage the data in a single platform.

You can allow your vendors, suppliers, and partners to manage their respective data in it. Moreover, enabling role and responsibility-based access for every level of the executives of the organization, ensures the accuracy, quality, and security of the data.

5 – Single Source of Truth

The top management needs access to the holistic view of all data that belong to the different departments to make the right decision at the right time.

The digital platform allows you to integrate multiple third-party systems to aggregate the data from multiple systems to a single location. Allowing for such integration, the digital platform manages all your organizational data in one place.

I think I have shared enough information with you to help you to understand what is a digital platform as well as its important features, abilities, frameworks, and benefits of it. Now, I am going to introduce one of the highly used digital platforms, Pimcore.

How Pimcore is the Right Choice for You?

Pimcore is one of the highly trusted digital platforms used by Fortune 500 companies. It enables the business to manage all the data-related activities from a single platform. Businesses can manage product data, eCommerce activities, web content, and marketing activities using Pimcore.

It contains PIM, DAM, CDP, DXP/CMS, MDM, and digital commerce capabilities to collect, store, manage, consolidate, and distribute product information across different sales channels in an automated way.

Being an open-source technology, you do not need to invest in solution development. All you need to pay is for high customization and implementation of digital platforms. Moreover, you are free to use all the components of Pimcore to build a digital platform or you can use one or two, or more components separately or together as per your need.

Credencys helps you to build a next-gen digital platform using Pimcore. We have a team of Pimcore-certified developers who can build a custom solution as per your specific business needs by offering a complete range of Pimcore development services.

Do you want to shift your business to a digital platform? Feel free to connect with us.

Say goodbye to data chaos and embrace the power of PIM/MDM to supercharge your business growth!