I have been struggling to articulate this one to be honest. Of my original 4Ps it is the most technical in nature and while I knew exactly what I meant I haven’t really been able to find the words.
Thankfully the new Government Digital Strategy has done it for me. Action 11 states;
Cabinet Office will lead in the definition and delivery of a new suite of common technology platforms which will underpin the new generation of digital services
Now for some of us this Cabinet Office suite of platforms will not be readily available but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look to learn from (or share) as much as possible from them. All of us need flexible, stable tools on which we can build digital services that live up to the expectations of our users. Presently it is far too common to be locked into technology solutions that offer no such flexibility and are essentially sealed black boxes that cannot easily be modified or updated (either due to the technology or the contractual arrangements surrounding the technology).
The digital world moves quickly and we need platforms that at least give us the possibility of keeping up!
It is also important that they used the plural – it is platformS not platform. This is not the age of the ‘one size fits all’ solution. Much as I love WordPress and treat it like a digital Swiss Army Knife sometimes it is not always the best answer. That is the same for any CMS you can think of. The key is the ability to be able to build around, extend, integrate to provide the best product for the job (which is where all the API stuff comes in but that is for proper technical types to write about.)