April 20, 2023

Platform Modernization: 4 Trends & Developments for Data Companies to Watch in 2023

The most successful information services companies in 2023 have one thing in common: they’re laser-focused on delivering value to customers. Consider the following data:

  • 80% increase in revenue among companies who prioritize CX (Zippia)
  • 90% of businesses, regardless of vertical, are making CX their primary focus (CX Index)
  • 59% of consumers believe businesses should use the data they collect about them to personalize their experiences. (Zendesk CX Trends Report 2023)

Simply put: only those organizations who put CX and personalization front and center in the B2B user experience will succeed in the modern digital economy.

Unfortunately, many legacy data organizations don’t have the technology and platforms to provide a customer-centric focus. What’s more, too many are stuck in old patterns of thinking, and don’t have the agile mindset and culture necessary to deliver these results fast.

Platform modernization enables you to modernize your platforms, gain insights into customer problems, and deliver value with every feature and experience. Here are 4 platform modernization trends every data organization should watch in 2023.

Platform modernization: the latest in a long line of changes

Information services companies have been leveraging data platforms for decades. More recently, many of these companies have created customer-facing platforms that aid in:

  • Generating insights from proprietary and 3rd party data
  • Enabling seamless data delivery and self-service access to insights and content
  • Offering APIs to call specific data in real time

The pandemic, however, has increased the rate of digitization by high orders of magnitude. This is not only because of the mandate for more advanced platforms and technologies, but also the explosion of new data—approximately 328 million terabytes daily.

The speed and scope of data creation requires faster, and more innovative methods of delivering data to customers. What’s more, these methods must not only provide raw data, but surface the most applicable insights for the impact on the business.

Agile technology is no longer a cutting-edge innovation. For competitive information services companies, it’s now a top business priority. This requires not only modernization in technology, but in practices, processes, and culture to focus on delivering value with every development.

Why should you modernize your platforms & applications?

When discussing platform modernization, there’s always talk about the risks of transformation. This isn’t surprising, as resistance to chance is a powerful force in most corporate cultures.

But the focus on platform modernization risks ignores an important truth: staying with your legacy technology comes with its own risks as well! It’s not a question of risk vs. no risk. It’s a question of balancing which approach carries the lowest level of risk to the organization.

Legacy systems indeed come with elevated risks, including:

  • Difficulty updating systems with bug fixes, requiring lots of workarounds and costly maintenance
  • Increased security risks since legacy platforms don’t receive timely updates and security patches
  • Lack of ability or slowness to react to changing market needs

However, the biggest cost comes from failing to adopt a mindset focused on driving growth, minimizing time to value, and quickly developing solutions to customer problems.

Platform modernization delivers increased scalability and allows your system to grow with you and your customers. In addition to overcoming the challenges and risks mentioned above, platform modernization enhances the value you offer to customers—mainly because your entire approach is centered around the value you deliver.

Here are some of the primary reasons information services enterprises are adopting platform modernization.

Improving customer experience

Ultimately, customers don’t want to jump through hoops to use your data—whether you work with consumers directly or with business users. By building a user-friendly, data-powered platform, you can ensure that customers can easily access the insights they need to make decisions. Hopefully, they’ll come back for more.

Better security

No one wants to fall victim to a data breach. A secure digital product with updated security patches improves customer trust and minimizes the risk of a security-induced PR nightmare. Many legacy platforms become difficult to update and patch over time, which means that maximum security requires a more modern infrastructure.

Better competitive edge

Startups are often at the leading edge of tech and customer experience because they can fill gaps in the industry. Moreover, they don’t have decades of process-bloat and legacy technology bogging them down. Platform modernization enables you to streamline processes, focus on your main goal of solving for need, and remain competitive.

Increased revenue opportunities

Because platform modernization enables faster development, rollout, updates, and customization, you’re able to build more features and functionality without changing your core product or data foundation. This means more revenue at little marginal cost.

4 platform modernization trends to watch

Now that we’ve explored why companies take on platform modernization, here are some specific technological trends that information services companies should watch.

1. Microservices architecture

Over the past years, we’ve seen the rise of architectural styles aligned with modern DevOps, the most popular being microservices. Whereas monolithic platforms use a variety of processes that work together, microservices break these down into specific functions.

Platforms that adopt a microservices architecture can use a variety of microservices to perform different functions. Each microservice has a specific function but works well with its “peers,” enabling a seamless, fully integrated experience for both developers and users.

2. Frontend modernization

One of the biggest buzzwords today is User Experience, or UX. One of the biggest modernization trends is improving user interfaces for all users—employees and end users alike.

In fact, a few years ago, poor UX design cost Citi hundreds of millions of dollars when a judge ruled that Citi had to pay for “human error” after employees overpaid a bill by $800M. Had their interface been more user friendly, the error could have been avoided, and Citi wouldn’t have been forced to absorb the cost.

This example spells out the need for frontend modernization to create a user-friendly and efficient experience. Updates include but are not limited to mobile optimization, UX, integrations, and more opportunities to make it easier than ever for customers to use your digital products.

3. Data modernization

For information services companies, data is the largest and most valuable asset. Proper data management is key to ensuring your products continually deliver value to the user.

3Pillar advocates the use of datum-level storage to simplify how you access, organize, maintain, and draw insights from your data. A datum store provides a simple API that allows for the storage and retrieval of these items. This enables incredible flexibility in how the data is leveraged, and can be adapted to any type of technological architecture.

Additional benefits of a datum store include:

  • Replacement of traditional database backups
  • Support for full audit trails
  • Recreation of point-in-time views of enterprise data environment creation after a disaster or as part of a normal release process
  • Seeding of test data
  • Replacement for certain ETL use cases and as a data bus that allows pub/sub models for whole business entities

In addition to accessing the data, data modernization allows artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) solutions to improve how you analyze data. In turn, it can help uncover the specific data needed for each request and improve the way you segment and serve your audience.

4. Mindset modernization

Perhaps the least talked about innovation tactic has nothing to do with technology and data, but your mindset and culture. If you don’t work to change how your team operates and thinks about software, you’re just going to keep making the same mistakes with different tools.

This involves adopting a product mindset that prioritizes:

  • Minimizing time to delivery
  • Developing, creating, and optimizing around user value
  • Adopting a mindset of continuous improvement across the entire product and customer lifecycle

As you work to modernize your platforms, make sure you’re not just focusing on the surface level. Go deeper, building a culture that embraces innovation at every level of the team.

Platform modernization: it’s about more than just technology

Regardless of the modernization and migration trends important to your business, taking a strategic approach is critical. After all, platform modernization is more than creating a new software account and flipping a switch.

Instead, it requires a top-down commitment to enabling innovation, improving consistency, and empowering decision-making. While there are multiple approaches to modernization based on your company, your processes, and your goals, an effective roadmap is critical for success.

3Pillar Global is here to help you build strategy, shift your cultural mindset, and build modern data products for an evolving market. Contact us today to speak with a 3Pillar expert.