The Radar themes emerge from observations and conversations during the vetting process; recently, while compiling the Radar, we've noticed the number of new entries in the Platforms quadrant. We think this is indicative of a broader trend in the software development ecosystem.
Notable Silicon Valley companies have illustrated how building a suitable platform can yield significant benefits. Part of their success comes from finding a useful level of encapsulation and capabilities. Increasingly, "platform thinking" appears across the ecosystem—from advanced capabilities highlighted on the Radar such as natural language to infrastructure platforms such as Amazon.
Businesses are starting to think about platforms when exposing select capabilities via product-inspired APIs. Development teams think more in terms of building platforms for integration and improved developer experience. It seems the industry has finally latched onto a reasonable combination of packaging, convenience, and usefulness.
One definition that we like is that platforms should expose a self-service API and be easy to configure and provision within a team environment—which intersects nicely with another emerging theme, Developer experience as the new differentiator. We expect to see further refinement in both the definition and capabilities of platforms in the near future.