Because of the rapid rate of change in the information technology (IT) industry, it is not unusual to find that a term of reference you once understood (or thought you understood) has morphed into something else.
Witness the word ‘platform’. As I mentioned in a recent FSN article, in the context of IT, ‘platform’ has an increasingly broad range of meanings. Any use may soon require a qualifier, such as ‘infrastructure’, ‘marketing’ or ‘shoe’.
This is rather different to the world of accounting, where the wheels of change tend to turn comparatively slowly, and terms of reference are reliably constant. Though it would be interesting to hear of any exceptions…
‘Platform’ is also blessed with more than one meaning back in real life. In the construction industry, a platform is something which lifts you up and on which others can stand; which may help to explain the word’s growing popularity in IT.
Unfortunately for finance professionals, monitoring the evolution of platforms may be unavoidable, as they can now be used to improve decision-making, automate the close-to-disclose cycle, help accountants to develop their own apps, and more.
Other examples are also welcome. So if any of you feel a burning desire to share, why not pop over to the FSN LinkedIn group and join the discussion on what platforms mean to you. My current favourites mean an extra four inches.