HomeBlogBusiness ProcessThinking about shifting to a product and platform technology operating model?

Thinking about shifting to a product and platform technology operating model?

Have you ever come across the term product and platform technology operating model? If not, you should be aware that it is rapidly taking over from the more well known models that are associated with projects linked to function driven IT delivery.

The bottom line is that – as a product led model – you will know that the IT programme starts to run like the business, and one that is solely focused on serving your clients and building products. Products in this instance are what we might see as software or applications linked directly to solutions. We identify our clients as those who are accessing and utilising the application, and ultimately get value from them in their delivery both internally and externally. With this delivery, you will have a multi-functional team who are all committed to each area of core knowledge needed for the product platform, and they will each work to build each product much like a house is built with a multi-disciplinary crew of workers.

The key is that the whole team in this instance is needed, and will have to take full responsibility to ensure the product is completed for use and continues to deliver for clients needs. It is also important it can change and adapt as those needs develop, grow or change.

The focus now however is less about large, steady and big programmes. The future focuses on and will eventually become about light, continuous and progressive products, with a much more flexible and evolutionary DNA. This will allow for your output to be so much more change focused, and will allow businesses to be free to embrace the change as their adaptive platform seeks to work in a more knitted way with your business. The key is to always have a platform that allows you to be responsive to the market and have it seen as completely and deeply rooted into the core DNA of your organisation.

This all considered, making the jump to product focused operating models requires more than just a light touch elaster plast re-structure or a weak dusting of the company’s internal procedures – and the policies that underpin them. This jump requires a full blown, brand new approach to ensuring that the planned adoption of the new model has an open-minded attitude from all stakeholders, as the outcome will bring about new working practices and a change in your company’s culture.

 The rewards for getting this right will see huge benefits, and below are 8 ways you will see the progress you want and need to futureproof your business.

1. Identify the target

Begin to scope out what your target is. You will see a huge number of milestones as you progress on the journey. It is important that you determine at the outset how much change you want to see and it is worth noting that many companies have adopted a mixture of components for their finished model. Some work in a more direct way that leads to better results. There are many considerations, including what your products are and the platforms they operate on, as well as the age of the areas of your business that are associated with change, before coming to a conclusion on the final decision.

2.Commitment is critical

The change required is extremely significant. There will be a huge amount of reorganisation within your strategy that will lead to a completely different way of operating your business. There will be a huge commitment to hard work and not least in utilising the right and capable staff or consultants who will be responsible for each of your product lines, with a level of devolved authority to them so that an organic conclusion can be reached in bringing about the change of model.


Simply a marriage of two words that have – for a considerable length of time – bridged the gap of solutions between development and operation. DevOps is literally defined as build to run, utilising a very agile delivery. A company that already uses DevOps and a more agile underpinned culture – or has delivered under some of these core systems – will make the leap much smoother and quicker. The whole point of this is to get rid of silo’s, or multi-disciplinary groups of staff who will already be aware of this delivery style.

4.People power

Without leadership grasping the scope, you will struggle to receive engagement from the business and IT. You are asking your employees to get on board with a huge and lasting change within the business – something that in fact will alter the business deliverables completely – but the result is a more product and client focused outcome. The aim is to remove any barriers between what the business is and does, and the IT infrastructure that historically has been cumbersome.

5.Spring clean your policies and procedures

It’s time to bring out all your dusty policies, and procedures that are expressly and directly linked to your old IT model of operation. The key here is to move away from the idea that IT will deliver the project programme and then sign it over to the business so that the team can use it. If we look at how you monitor and appraise staff performance, the people more often than not will have a fixed set of duties to perform, and the projects act almost as ongoing outcomes based on business led objectives. As we are now in a world of product-led customer satisfaction based outcomes, streamlining and goal orientated models of operation are the key to success.

6.Manage your money

The majority of IT companies are committed to project-focused budgets. The budget will be identified to cover each part of the programme, with each stage approved pre-start. The key is to move over to a complete product, which in turn sharpens that focus on how the money is attributed, which will not always be comfortable for Chief Financial Officers. The key here is to make sure that new financial processes of management are presented for the new way of doing things to ensure the product line is effective and linked directly to what the business is trying to achieve.

7.Make it last

Cultural progress through a new and well produced strategy will make sure there is something that will sit well with the whole business. The teaching and learning opportunities around the implementation needs to be made 100% clear, and in order to make your new model last your employees need to be behind the project and supportive of the aims and objectives. Security of the tenure of staff around their jobs needs to be clear, and therefore all messages need to communicate all the points in a way that is easy to understand..

8.Train your people

There is a key need for business leaders to spend time understanding the roles of all employees. The best way to do this is for management to spend time finding out about the roles being performed by staff throughout the business. The structure of job altering and the need for the individual to re-train under the new procedures can be hard to digest. Therefore, patient training to upskill should be delivered. Making opportunities to fill gaps in delivery of each role should be done through bespoke quality training to ensure no slippage in moving the business forward.

The world is changing and technology is developing all the time. It is now the fastest sector of growth. But it increasingly has the highest customer-facing delivery. Therefore, company shifts from project led IT to product focused delivery means that we are all moving towards an increasingly customer appeasing world.

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