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August 5, 2014

IT Insanity: Stop the Insanity with Platform Thinking – Part 1

Tony Thomas
Vice President, Strategy
ConnectWise, Inc.
Platform Thinking For Your IT Business

Does this sound familiar? “This [insert IT quagmire] is driving me insane!” IT insanity is a special feeling reserved for those extremely complex situations that involve disparate solutions, dynamic sets of needs and diverse computing environments.

Here are five real-world sources of IT insanity:

1. One-size-fits-all “solutions”
2. Inefficiencies and productivity loss of technicians
3. Meaningless integrations that do not affect the bottom line
4. Complex programs that require coding skills to make a simple customization
5. Unreliable sources of product or industry knowledge

It takes more than a rigid point solution or technology to solve these types of problems in an adaptable, end-to-end and meaningful way. Finding a way to solve those problems and bring some peace of mind to you and your clients motivated the LabTech Software team to create a strategy based on the modern philosophy of platform thinking.

The inspiration for platform thinking comes from two founding fathers of our IT industry, Robert Metcalfe and Gordon Moore. According to Metcalfe’s Law, “the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system.” In other words, value comes from increasing the number of users on a network. This is sometimes referred to as the “network effect.”

The same principles can be applied to a platform business model for software companies by enabling a network that connects not only users, but process, data and apps. The combined power of people, methodology and inventive design creates exponential growth in knowledge sharing and sustainable value for all participants, and serves as an incubator where innovations are constantly born and matured.

Moore’s Law says that “the number of transistors on a chip will double approximately every two years, making computing power smaller, faster and cheaper.” When Gordon Moore developed this law, he was considering the evolution of processor form factors, computing power and broader adoption.

Again, the same principles can be applied to software by embracing a platform approach. We begin by doubling the focus on APIs (application programing interfaces) and rapid developer tools available. The result is a drastically reduced learning curve for creating innovative solutions as citizen developers gain access to codeless creative problem solving. Software is deployed and experimented with faster, and solves a broader set of needs as users develop solutions for their own pain points.

Standing on the shoulders of these great IT thinkers and innovators, experts at LabTech Software synthesized the two laws into a significant focus shift for IT services. The broader application of platform thinking resulted in the development of the LabTech Synergy Platform, which creates a vibrant and thriving ecosystem powered by a number of core innovation conduits. It’s an ecosystem we’ve designed to prevent IT insanity.

080714_the world of labtech synergy platform

Next week, we’ll begin our exploration of the five complex sources of IT insanity, starting with one-size-fits-all solution approaches. We’ll slowly unravel the crazy with the solutions provided by platform thinking.

Tony Thomas Vice President, Strategy
ConnectWise, Inc.

Tony is passionate about entrepreneurship and innovation, so he’s always searching for new ways LabTech can help unlock innovation and potential in your IT business.


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