The Art of Platform Thinking | 平台思维的艺术

作者: Amit Kaul (Vice President, Emerging Technology) & Ryan Murray (Director, Digital Platform Strategy)

标签: #Technology Strategy, #Innovation, #Strategy

The digitally-savvy customer has highly sophisticated - and ever-evolving - expectations for engagement and brand experience at every touchpoint. Delivering on and keeping up with these expectations requires an innovation-driven culture with customer value at its center. We’ve seen a common theme across our most successful client engagements: innovation and speed to market at scale requires more than just intense customer-centricity, adoption of agile practices and technology acumen. For almost any organization with significant brand value and historical technology investments, there will be friction from years of built-up technical and architectural debt. Unlocking core assets and business capabilities to enable customer-facing innovation requires effort and investment.


All organizations have an innate innovation capability Tweet this


But yours may be so knotted up with organizational complexity and technology delivery friction that it’s less painful to stick to business as usual. How do you know? If progress becomes mired in departmental finger pointing, or your best people are busy just keeping things up and running, innovation is suffering. This wasted energy costs time and competitive advantage, it creates frustrating experiences for your customers, and ultimately drives tech talent out the door.


Platform thinking can help untangle those knots and free your organization up to be more innovative without adding additional debt such as inventory, real estate, divisions, and staff.


Here’s how it works:

For your organization to make the most out of technology investments, you need a comprehensive strategy that puts your essential business priorities at the heart of your approach to foundational technologies. Platform thinking then becomes the touchstone for making key technology decisions that will simplify your ecosystem, stimulate innovation, and accelerate delivery.



At ThoughtWorks, we’ve spent the past few years building and enhancing platforms that enable our enterprise clients to utilize the assets they already possess to support their forward-looking business objectives. We’ve collaborated with our clients to address key questions, such as:

  • How do I reduce friction in our existing software development processes, reduce architectural debt, and achieve the accelerated delivery I need to be competitive?
  • Is an off-the-shelf solution the right approach, or should we develop a custom solution in-house? Or is the answer somewhere in between?
  • How do I unlock the assets and infrastructure we already possess to stay ahead of potential competitors and market disruption?
  • How does our technology platform support a culture of innovation across the entire business?


  • 如何减少已有软件开发流程的摩擦、减少技术架构债务、提升市场竞争的交付速度?
  • 是否存在现成有效的方法实践,或是提供企业定制化的内部解决方案?或是答案位于两者之间?
  • 如何充分利用企业已经具备的资产与基础设施,以保持相较于潜在对手或市场搅局者的竞争优势?
  • 企业技术平台该如何支撑贯穿业务始终的全面创新文化?

By working in the trenches with partners facing real-world challenges, we have defined a holistic approach to technology that helps organizations meet and often exceed the expectations of today’s digitally savvy customer. Our platform-focused approach distills a client’s business objectives, current state architecture, and technology capability to provide a set of actions to maximize innovation and increase speed to market. We call it a Digital Platform Strategy.

通过与合作伙伴并肩作战面对现实挑战,ThoughtWorks 打造了一整套解决方案,能够帮助企业组织达到甚至常常超越当今数字化知识丰富的客户所期望的效果。ThoughtWorks 以平台为重心的解决方案可以用于提炼企业业务目标、现有架构形态与技术能力,以提供一系列具体行动,充分发挥创新能力与加快推向市场速度。我们称之为数字平台战略。

The Digital Platform Strategy is a ThoughtWorks offering that distils our global experience and learnings across domains and clients in order to unlock enterprise assets to facilitate innovation. Our knowledge framework and accelerators direct our clients to define and maximize the value of their core business capabilities and data assets through lean, iterative development of their foundational technology platform. Our wealth of experience gathered across a range of clients and industries, enables us to significantly accelerate and de-risk customer’s efforts. We’ve fallen into the traps and potholes and found the escape hatches so you don’t have to.

数字平台战略是 ThoughtWorks 所打造的一款产品,浓缩无数专业领域和企业客户的全球性经验与成果,帮助企业解锁核心资产以加速创新变革。我们所提供的理论框架与高效执行力,引导我们的客户定义并实现核心业务能力和数据资产的价值最大化,通过精益、迭代开发企业基础技术平台。我们所积累的丰富经验在无数企业客户与专业领域都卓有成效,使得我们能够显著促进企业创新进程并化解客户风险。我们曾经掉过坑、踩过无数陷阱并成功找到了逃生舱口(出路),而您不必再重蹈覆辙。

Platform Thinking at the Core | 平台思维的核心

Platform thinking works by:

  • Removing friction from delivery teams by focusing on high quality, self-service access to foundational technology.
  • Creating an ecosystem of technology and business capabilities. Using domain-driven principles, carefully-factored business capability interfaces (APIs) are critical components of an effective, modern Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) strategy.
  • Explicitly investing in a foundation for experimentation which ensures every delivery team has access to tools to make testing new ideas and validating learnings easy.


  • 通过专注高质量、面向基础技术的自服务来消除交付团队的摩擦(冲突)
  • 打造技术与业务能力的生态系统。能够利用领域驱动原则、精准业务分析的能力接口(APIs),会是一个卓有成效、现代化的面向服务架构(SOA)重要组件。
  • 明确投资于试验性(创新实验)基础设施,确保每个交付团队都能使用相关工具,轻松测试新想法、验证经验收获。

This isn’t a “build it and they will come” approach to platform building. The Digital Platform Strategy engages your business and technology stakeholders to prioritize building the most valuable capabilities in a lean, incremental manner.


The Pillars of the Digital Platform Strategy | 数字平台战略的(五大)支柱

Our Digital Platform Strategy framework is a blueprint for platform building that is comprised of five essential pillars (focus areas). Breaking down the complexity of an enterprise platform provides targeted focus on delivering business value through classes of foundational technology. To remove friction and build ecosystems, we focus on the key areas of delivery:

  • Delivery Infrastructure
  • Architecture and API Remediation
  • Self Service Data
  • Experiment Infrastructure and Telemetry
  • Customer Touchpoint Technology

Digital Platform Strategy - a blueprint


  • 交付基础设施
  • API 和架构治理
  • 数据自服务
  • 创新实验基础设施和监控体系
  • 客户触点技术


Delivery Infrastructure: We take a holistic approach to infrastructure, build and release support, and observability. Elastic infrastructure and related tooling, coupled with simplified build, deployment, and monitoring enables engineers to deliver rapidly and safely, with appropriate controls and audit support. This pillar directly addresses delivery friction, reducing your time to market for new products and services.


Architecture and API Remediation: Engaging customer experiences that evolve to meet the constantly changing market require maximizing the value of existing organizational assets and business capabilities. Our approach to API and architecture includes methods for building net-new capabilities using modern service-oriented (SOA) and event-driven (EDA) approaches, as well as practices for remediating legacy systems so they effectively expose key existing assets to developers. A platform of well-factored, self-service APIs that hide the process, technical, and operational complexity of the underlying capability allows teams to move quickly to experiment with and production-alize new customer-facing solutions. We typically start by focusing internally to optimizing your own delivery capability, and can extend the approach to public API strategies to expand the ecosystem to your customers and partners.

API 和架构治理:打造响应市场不断变化的用户体验,需要最大化现有组织资产与业务能力的价值。我们对 API 和架构治理的途径包括使用现代化面向服务(SOA)和事件驱动(EDA)的方式打造网络新功能的方法,也包括治理遗留系统的具体实践,从而有效地将关键的现有资产提供给开发者使用。 一个完美的自助 APIs 平台,隐藏了底层功能的流程、技术和操作复杂度,使团队能够快速试验并为生产实现提供新的面向客户方案。通常我们会从内部开始着手优化企业的交付能力,并且能够扩展公共 API 战略的解决方案,将生态系统扩展到客户与合作伙伴。

Self-Service Data: Today’s businesses rely on real-time analytics to power decisions. Data and application architecture are increasingly merging as we create more real-time, data-enabled business capabilities, while supporting advanced data science-driven analytics. Application developers need to focus on contributing to the organizational data stream and selectively tapping into it. Your data platform is therefore becoming ubiquitous. It needs to reduce friction by streamlining the use, management, and operations of complex data technologies like Kafka, Hadoop, and Spark. It should also expose a self-service ecosystem of curated data assets, addressing data strategy issues such as data lake design, data ownership, and authorization issues.

数据自服务:现今的商业依赖于实时分析来做出强有力的决策(在当今的商业世界里,企业依赖于实时分析来做出强有力的决策)。数据和应用程序架构正由于越来越多实时的、数据支持的业务能力而融合在一起,与此同时也在支撑着进一步的数据科学驱动的分析。应用程序开发者需要专注致力于企业数据流和有选择性地挖掘数据。因此,企业数据平台将变得无处不在。这需要通过简化 Kafka、Hadoop 或 Spark 等复杂数据技术的使用、管理和操作来减少摩擦(friction)。与此同时还应该暴露出一个用于管理数据资产的自服务生态系统,解决诸如数据湖设计、数据所有权和授权问题等数据战略问题。

Experiment Infrastructure and Telemetry: Innovation lives and dies by the ability to learn quickly through purposeful, measured experimentation. Using canary release processes, toggle architecture, and meaningful instrumentation, your experiment infrastructure helps you to make the right decisions about your experiments and investments.


Customer Touchpoint Technology: Knowledge of your customer is the foundation of delivering value. Together, a consistent content strategy, a single view of the customer, and transparent telemetry provide unprecedented customer insight that enables personalized product offerings. The benefit? New, targeted value streams that can be delivered quickly across multiple channels.


The Digital Platform Strategy Process at a Glance | 数字平台战略流程一览

A Digital Platform Strategy engagement begins with a discovery to understand your customer’s business priorities, organizational complexity, and technical maturity. We then merge that with our patterns, practices, and principles of enterprise platform building. This culminates in a prioritized, lean technology strategy and platform roadmap tailored to your business needs.


Digital Platform Strategy - the approach

Moving into the execution phase, the partnership of strategy and delivery moves into high gear. We begin with the highest priority platform capabilities to vet strategy against reality. At this stage, we test our assumptions about organizational delivery capabilities, degree of technical debt, and remediation complexity. This allows us to deliver early platform value that underpins your key business priorities. As the engagement continues, insights from execution are fed back into continuous strategy development and review to inform the path of execution. This feedback loop fine-tunes the short- and medium-term tactical moves, while platform thinking maintains the strategic vision of meeting your business objectives.


So Where Do You Begin? | 所以,从何开始着手?

Digitally-savvy customers want to feel delighted and inspired; they expect your brand to add value to their lives. They want to feel the passion that you feel for your brand and to be part of your next great solution. Building out a scalable technology strategy that manages complexity will enable rapid development, stimulate innovation, and create new opportunity for growth. An optimized foundational technology platform is essential to being able to meet your customer’s expectations and increase their engagement with your brand.


For more information on how to harness the creative horsepower that your enterprise already possesses, check out ThoughtWorks’ Digital Platform Strategy.

有关如何运用企业资产发挥创新性能力的更多信息,请查看 ThoughtWorks 的数字平台战略(Digital Platform Strategy)。