Waiting for our ride on The Third Platform



The Open Group was initially formed in 1996 through a merger of the European X/Open and its American counterpart, the Open Software Foundation—organizations tasked to create open standards to promote interoperability among different brands of UNIX systems. Enterprise geeks (not referring to the Trek guys) must have heard about this group through their TOGAF Certification tracks on designing enterprise architecture to improve business efficiency via a stack of technologies.

What is The Third Platform?

You are right: there must be a first platform and a second platform. The first platform is the computer operating system. Because applications are custombuilt for a specific OS, customers had to carefully choose one vendor and hope that it could support the software forever. If a network had to be built, all computers must be running the same OS for maximum compatibility. The second platform is the World Wide Web running on the internet infrastructure. The WWW provided the portability that customers wanted. The browser became the most important tool as developers transitioned from “desktop apps” to “online apps.” Google released Google Docs in 2007 as an online alternative to users of the traditional desktop Microsoft Office suite. Online apps made collaboration (simultaneous editing of multiple users) possible. The trend continued as complex graphics editing tools were also ported to the Web. The user was freed from the trap of vendor lock-ins as more apps became “agnostic” to the operating system. The Third Platform aims to make the apps developed for the Web work together. It provides the infrastructure to make it possible for you to access Facebook services inside your favorite game. It allows you to tweet traffic updates with photos using your mobile phone. The “new” platform unites social networking, mobility, cloud, and data sources into one big ecosystem. The adoption rate is so fast that the white paper, Open Platform 3.0, is now being considered as a new model in developing future apps (read more at opengroup.org/subjectareas/platform3.0).

What adoption might bring to the local scene

  • ICT spending will continue to increase in 2015 as the younger generation feels the need to get connected all the time. And as long as foreign remittances from OFWs and job security remain high, there will be a strong demand for the latest gadgets and smartphones.
  • Sales of “alternative” smartphones from China will continue to increase.
  • That, let’s hope, will force the telcos to spend on infrastructure to keep up with the demand. The main reasons why internet is so slow are congestion and oversubscription. It is interesting to see how PLDT reacts to the local IP peering challenge. Who knows its real impact until it gets implemented?
  • DOST should be getting the hint to upgrade the data services provided by key government agencies. Data.gov.ph and Project NOAH are very good projects, but imagine the possibilities if they had provided an API that allows other apps to reformat and repurpose data!
  • SMEs are more likely to explore cloud services and other SaaS (software as a service) apps. This could include online invoicing, marketing, and inventory management.
  • Local IT startups will experience a renaissance as global demand for app development will likely increase in the next few years.
  • New job roles would emerge as the industry continues to shift from BPOs to KMOs (knowledge management outsourcing). The search for more local big data analysts will increase as data becomes an important factor in commercial success. Social media specialists are also starting to build their own guild.
  • The salary of the rare mainframe developer will shoot through the roof.
  • Training centers would benefit as companies require tech employees to get certifications for emerging standards and technologies. Yes, internet became a business model and everybody is encouraged to take advantage of it.
  • News of security breaches will abound but social media usage would still be very popular. The trend is the localization of apps as what Viber has done by adding stickers of some famous local bands in their service, and a live chatroom during a Manny Pacquiao fight.
  • More people would be acquainted with GPS as the commuting lifestyle changes. Waze, Grab Taxi, and Uber (should it survive the grilling of LTFRB) would be the game changers.
  • Let’s not forget the internet of things! Everybody wants to set up a CCTV that can be accessed via an iPhone. Homebodies would want to tap their Android phones on the TV and view saved videos on the bigger screen. We all want that robot that cleans our floors and tweets when he’s done.
  • Banks will find more ways to get your money by creating enticing products like one-tap payment systems. Stores will adapt and “reward” you for using it.
  • And, if you’re holding this mag in your hands, you would want to try reading this online at Buqo.ph.
Words Val J. Gonzales First published on Speed January 2015 issue