The IT industry is in the middle of an immense shift toward the 3rd Platform. During the era of 2nd platform, the distributed systems have significantly helped the packaged software applications. Customers would get their software through perpetual license, install it by themselves, and start using the product. The application software in the distributed era as compared with mainframe-class software technologies i.e. the 1st platform era, was low cost, widely available, and easy to use, without excess training. This has led to high growth in software markets. The 3rd platform is an information technology that differentiates the present IT environment of social, mobile, cloud as well as big data from older eras of computing. The emergence of 3rd platform enabled the software as well as hardware firms in tailoring their business models according to the needs and demands of customers first, followed by enhancements for business users. On the contrary, in the earlier eras of computing, development and innovation was focused first on enterprise needs rather than consumers. The 1st platform was introduced in the 1950s and was based on mainframe computers. During 1980s, the 2nd platform came into existence as the server/client architecture as well as PC computers gained importance, due to their lower cost of ownership, and easy deployment and usage. The 3rd platform was brought to the IT sector in the year 2007, which is built on the four pillars including cloud computing, mobile devices, social networking as well big data analytics.
The 3rd platform is cloud-based, and offers anytime, anywhere access to any application functionality. The mobile apps running on mobile devices are the critical access points for these cloud solutions. These mobile devices use 4G networks as well as WiFi for connectivity rather than MPLS networks. The 3rd platform is not only a technology revolution but also a customer revolution. Therefore, another key principle of the 3rd platform is the growth of new business models that align their business outcomes with customers\' experiences.
The key factors contributing to the increasing adoption of 3rd platform is its low cost and ease of use. Unlike 2nd platform, the 3rd platform applications are designed for consumers and are then enhanced or developed for the enterprises. Consumer expectations for easy acquisition and accessibility as well as simplicity in software and transparency in the pricing models, increases the usage of the 3rd platform, hence swelling the market growth. The proliferation of connected smart mobile devices, along with the extensive use of social networking over a cloud-based server infrastructure and big data analytics are also the major factors driving the growth of 3rd platform market. This has helped the business applications developers to focus on innovation by taking advantage of end-user connectedness and mobility. Applications, services and content on the 3rd platform can be accessed by a large number of users. This is a pinnacle of anywhere and anytime access and has been widely accepted in the software industry. The growth of 3rd platform market is also driven by increasing SaaS delivery models, which includes the applications and system infrastructure software (SIS) markets, hence outpacing traditional software product delivery.
The key participants in the global 3rd platform market include Adobe Systems Incorporated, Citrix Systems Inc., Microsoft Corporation, Salesforce.Com, Inc., Accenture Plc, Redhat Inc., Amazon.Com, Inc., Google Inc., IBM Corporation, EMC Corporation, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., Cisco Systems, Inc., Sprout Social, Inc., Oracle Corporation, Rackspace Hosting, Inc., Rightscale Inc., Mobileiron, Inc., Skyhigh Networks, Inc., and Splunk Inc.
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