Open platform vs closed platform: how to future-proof your business
When you're choosing software, it's important to not only consider your current requirements but also how your business may grow and evolve. Choosing an open platform lets you build the technology stack that's right for your business and add to it as required to meet your changing needs.
Read on to find out what an open platform is, what its key advantages are, and how it can help you future-proof your business.
What’s an open platform?
An open platform is a system that supports seamless integration with third-party applications and services. By sharing Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and insights into the platform's core, the software provider empowers users to expand the functionality of their platform, providing a diverse and enriched user experience.
What’s a closed platform?
A closed (or proprietary) platform is a controlled software environment with limited interoperability with other applications as it's designed to work within a specific ecosystem. It may also be less customisable, with users encouraged to leverage in-built configurations to tailor the platform to their needs.
What's the main difference between an open platform vs closed platform?
Open and closed platforms differ primarily in their development approach and accessibility. Open platforms allow users to customise their tech stack with third-party applications to access more features and functionality. On the other hand, closed platforms don’t allow for third-party integrations. They work within their specific ecosystem, offering controlled environments with fewer customisation options.
What are the advantages of an open platform?
For growing businesses, there are many advantages in choosing an open platform over a closed one. Some key benefits include:
With no two businesses the same, closed platforms may not sufficiently meet all a company's needs. By integrating additional, specialised tools and applications, businesses can extend the capabilities of their core platform to address their requirements without needing to compromise.
Open platforms allow enterprises to build comprehensive, integrated ecosystems to serve their requirements. With a closed platform, a business may still need additional software-as-a-service subscriptions for specific requirements that their platform doesn't meet. With these applications running separately to the closed platform, data silos and inefficiencies emerge. These bottlenecks inevitably undermine productivity and business performance.
The collaborative environment of an open platform means your platform is continuously improving. An ecosystem of developers, partners and users supplement the work that your software provider is doing, offering new ideas and applications to enhance the functionality of your platform. This inclusivity stimulates innovation, helping you get more value from your software investment.
An open platform helps you be flexible and agile. You can respond quickly to changing market dynamics and emerging trends without restriction. With a cloud-native, scalable, open platform, you can extend and scale your software to add on new capabilities, diversifying your offering. This helps you effortlessly adapt to changing needs around your number of users or transaction volumes.
Increased return on investment
An open and integrated platform increases business efficiency versus a disconnected tech stack. This helps to lower costs and increase productivity and profitability, providing a strong return on investment.
In contrast, when a business is using software applications that don't integrate seamlessly, it costs them – there’s a strategic cost in not having data insights readily available, and there’s a productivity cost with users having to enter and cross-check data in different systems.
What else should you consider?
Capabilities available 'out of the box'
When adopting an open platform approach, it makes sense to look for a platform that offers broad and deep capabilities 'out of the box'. Software companies that offer a well-developed product while offering an app marketplace to supplement its capabilities can offer the best of both worlds.
Naturally, there are downsides to consider when using a plethora of third-party integrations, such as:
They can increase your attack surface from a cybersecurity perspective
There won't be a consistent user experience between applications
Therefore, it may be wise to select a platform that provides a variety of cloud-based software to meet your regular business needs, with the option to integrate specialist third-party services for specific needs.
Data security measures
Whatever your choice of platform, it's important to work with an experienced and trusted software company that prioritises security. For example, MYOB provides comprehensive data security measures including end-to-end encryption, multi-factor authentication and stringent access control protocols to make sure your data is safe.
Look for a provider who:
is vigilant against security risks
offers a high level of customer support
is dedicated to offering you the best platform experience.
MYOB: business management platform and app marketplace
MYOB offers software solutions to streamline and centralise all core business workflows. As an open platform, it allows you to add specialist third-party integrations from its app marketplace. This creates a more integrated way to run your business, bringing all your workflows together in one connected ecosystem.
By adopting an open platform like MYOB, you can future-proof your business by making sure your tech stack is adaptable to change, while remaining as streamlined as possible. This approach will help deliver a smooth and stress-free user experience.