June 12

From fragile to antifragile internal platforms

Internal platforms are understood as a necessity in most organizations today. But they're often fragile and susceptible to economic downturns, changes in funding models, or changes in leadership focus.

Internal platforms are generally understood as a necessity in most organizations today. However, results are often underwhelming, and the investment becomes hard to measure or justify. This makes internal platforms fragile and susceptible to economic downturns, changes in funding models, or leadership focus.

So, what is needed to make internal platforms antifragile?

“Antifragility is a property of systems in which they increase in capability to thrive as a result of stressors, shocks, volatility, noise, mistakes, faults, attacks, or failures.”

Of course, the platform as a product approach is critical to help focus and prioritize (internal) customer needs. Continuously understanding the platform audience, building trust, and reducing blind spots are required to thrive.

However, sustainable platforms need to be able to withstand financial shocks as well. We need to deal with the reality that (end customer) products (usually) have clear revenue and unclear costs, while internal platforms (usually) have clear costs and unclear revenue. How do we avoid naïve/biased approaches to demonstrate platform value that overlooks the costs? How do we show the value perceived by decision-makers who might be sitting two or three degrees away in the organization?

Antifragile internal platforms grow on trust and 360º transparency to survive the inevitable stressors, failures, and misunderstandings. Chances are that mandates, blind standardization, and fuzzy “productivity” goals, among other issues, are eroding the trust foundations needed for platform sustainability in your organization.

Manuel Pais
Co-author, Team Topologies
Manuel Pais

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