Platform thinking can unleash your business’s true potential. But no one should set out with a goal to build a platform: the platform is an enabler, not your prime objective. Take the example of Redgate.
Redgate, has more than 800,000 users of its range of database monitoring and deployment tools. While it’s had huge success in growing an army of enthusiastic end users, bigger opportunities existed: growing beyond individual users to reach enterprise accounts.
To do that, it wanted to create an integrated portfolio of products — one that not only included its current tools, but could adapt as new products were added, either through internal development or acquisitions.
“Thoughtworks pointed us in the right direction with confidence so that we could go off and explore and have greater odds of success.”
Head of Product Engineering, Redgate
The diversity of its products — which included desktop, server-based and cloud solutions — made this a complex project.
Here’s where Thoughtworks came in. Thoughtworks defined a reference architecture — based on a capabilities model linked together to form a service mesh — that enables Redgate to build its portfolio incrementally and exponentially.
To build an enterprise digital platform, start by building only those capabilities that are needed to deliver a single product.
Additional products can be built incrementally as constituent capabilities connect to form a service mesh, thereby creating a platform as a consequence.
The capabilities model and service mesh enable Redgate’s diverse set of products to talk to each other via a peer-to-peer system, so that they’re able to share data. More importantly, the products can also share functionality — so modules and features in one product are available to users across the platform. This allows Redgate to stay responsive to their users and rapidly launch new features.
The new approach enables end-users to view all the Redgate products as an integrated suite. It empowers Redgate’s sales teams to offer holistic solutions to enterprise customers for their strategic priorities, while also helping the engineering teams with a common deployment endpoint simplifying the path to production and accelerating speed to market.