16 Types of Technology Platforms (+ Examples)

Updated Mar 28, 2023.
Types of Technology Platforms

When users purchase business software, they make the decision based on its functionality rather than the technology platform supporting it.

However, if business applications don't have the support of a robust technology platform, they will face scalability and flexibility problems. On the other hand, a strong platform increases productivity and flexibility.

Luckily, you don’t need to build a technology platform from scratch. Tech giants like SAP and Google provide you with cloud-based platforms like the SAP Business Technology Platform and the Google Cloud Platform.

This article covers the different types of technology platforms.

What is a Technology Platform?

A technology platform is a structure on which users build or run successful business applications. It acts as a building block for extending and developing an application, driving innovation, and fostering business growth.

Every technology platform is run by a platform owner. For example, if you are using a third-party solution like the SAP Business Technology Platform, SAP is the platform owner.

Technology platforms provide business solutions to clients and other platforms. They can extend, improve, and upgrade your business software to boost speed, productivity, and service delivery.

Although a technology platform is not a new development, the increased focus on the cloud and emerging technologies are boosting its importance.

Modern technology platform capabilities cover tools like analytics, database and data management tools, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT). It is the foundation of modern business systems.

Types of Technology Platforms

A technology platform provides an enabling environment for you to build and run your applications, processes, and systems efficiently.

Here are the common types of technology platforms.

1. Operating Systems

An operating system is a technology platform that provides the essential functions needed to use hardware. This system software manages the application software and software programs on a computer or mobile device.

Operating systems are the lowest level of technology platforms. Every software runs on an operating system except embedded systems and low-level firmware.

There are different types of operating systems based on their specific purposes. For example, a time-sharing operating system assists in scheduling tasks.

An operating system serves as an efficient intermediary between the computer hardware and programs for hardware functions, including input, output, and memory allocation.

Your mobile phones, video game consoles, personal computers, and supercomputers use an operating system.

The operating system can either come pre-installed on a system or run directly from media such as a CD or flash memory.

Examples of Operating System
Source: Founderjar

Examples of Operating Systems

  • Microsoft Windows.
  • macOS.
  • Linux.
  • Android.
  • Apple iOS.

2. Computing Platforms

A computing platform consists of hardware and an operating system on which you can run an application or a program.

Although computing platforms exist in different forms, you need to define the system and its underlying requirements and limitations.

Ultimately, all computing platforms have the same general hardware, including a processor, operating memory, and storage system. Some come with input or output devices that aid user interactions.

Examples of Computing Platforms

  • A personal desktop computer using Windows OS.
  • An iPad running on the iOS system.
  • A minicomputer utilizing the Linux OS alongside other variations.

3. Database Platforms

Database platforms are cloud platforms that enable you to deploy and manage different database types like relational, NoSQL, and in-memory databases.

You can store small databases on a file system and more extensive databases on computer clusters or cloud storage.

A database management system (DBMS) stands between end users, the database, and applications to help capture and analyze the data shared between these mediums.

In essence, the database platform is a combination of the database, the database management system, and other applications associated with the database.

Examples of Database Platforms

  • Oracle.
  • IBM Db2.
  • Microsoft SQL.
  • MySQL.
  • PostgreSQL.
  • MongoDB.

4. Storage Platforms

Storage platforms allow the storage of files and objects. There are different storage platform types: object-based storage, software-defined storage, and data-defined storage.

Object storage manages unstructured data as objects. Software-defined storage separates storage services from physical storage hardware. Data-defined storage combines the attributes of software and object-defined storage while adding data security and identity management.

Today, the most popular storage platform is cloud storage. Cloud storage allows users to store and transmit data on remote storage locations managed by cloud service providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Most Used Cloud Storage Services Globally
Source: 99Firms

Examples of Storage Platforms

  • Google Drive.
  • Dropbox.
  • Onedrive.
  • MediaFire.
  • iDrive.
  • Amazon Cloud Drive.

5. Application Platforms

An application platform is a virtual platform that application programs rely on to conduct their standard operations. It provides an enabling environment for developing application software.

Usually, application platforms operate across development tools, execution services, operating systems, cloud services, and data services to offer flexible solutions to end users.

Examples of Application Platforms

  • OutSystems.
  • Appery.io.
  • Microsoft Visual Studio.
  • Adobe PhoneGap.
  • Google App Maker.

6. Mobile Platforms

A mobile platform combines software tools to create, design, and maintain mobile applications. It includes operating systems and environments that enable the development of mobile apps.

A mobile enterprise application platform provides mobile application tools to businesses and functions independently of other systems.

Every mobile platform supports the development of mobile apps by using different programming languages and an application programming interface that encourages interactions between software packages.

Examples of Mobile Platforms

  • BlackBerry.
  • iOS.
  • Android.
  • Windows Mobile OS.

7. Web Platforms

Web platforms allow for the discovery and sharing of information over the internet. They include web servers, web application servers, and digital elements that allow for the sharing of information online.

A website that provides historical information about the United States of America is a great example of a web platform. Users can connect via the internet, type in the URL, and access the needed information.

Web platforms can be free or paid. Many online businesses build web platforms to generate revenue from site visitors and advertisements.

A web platform can take the form of a subscription-based platform. The platform owner can decide to limit the information provided in an article and then ask interested users to pay a subscription fee to get access to more details.

Examples of Web Platforms

  • Britannica.
  • ResearchGate.
  • Lexis Web.
  • Wolfram Alpha.

8. Content Management System Platforms

A Content Management System (CMS) platform helps users to create, manage, and publish content, media, and documents. This platform allows you to manage your content better and publish website content.

Companies use CMS platforms as a document management system, an intranet site, and to publish web content on their blogs and websites.

Without a CMS platform, you must first understand programming languages and coding properly. Why? All web pages use HTML, JavaScript, and CSS programming languages.

The main benefit you gain from a CMS platform is the ability to create, edit, and store web content without needing technical expertise.

Top Content Management Systems

Top Content Management Systems
Source: Openxcell

Examples of Content Management System Platforms

  • Joomla.
  • HubSpot CMS Hub.
  • WordPress.org.
  • WooCommerce.
  • Drupal.
  • BigCommerce.
  • Shopify.

9. Media Platforms

The primary function of a media platform is to provide and deliver media to its users. However, most media platform owners are now allowing feedback from their users to make their platforms more interactive.

Whether in storytelling or building their audience, media platforms establish an effortless and meaningful relationship between readers and media creators.

Examples of Media Platforms

  • Facebook.
  • WhatsApp.
  • LinkedIn.
  • YouTube.
  • Local Newspaper.
  • Network TV.
  • Pinterest.

10. API Platforms

Application Programming Interface (API) is an intermediary software providing the means for different applications to communicate with each other.

An API platform allows for the easy management of APIs and other related applications. This platform exposes data, its resources, and assets in a machine-readable format to other users.

Third parties can access exposed data and capabilities and build on the established API platform's core value new value for customers.

As a critical driver of innovation and collaborative development, API platforms enable developers to innovate more rapidly and efficiently.

Examples of API Platforms

  • Funnel.
  • Make.
  • Workato.
  • Cyclr.
  • DreamFactory.
  • Maestro PMS.

11. Analytics Platforms

Analytics involves taking a systematic and computational approach to analyzing data or statistics. The aim of analytics is to create meaningful, easily interpretable, and communicable patterns around the given data.

An analytics platform refers to any service or tool that allows users to capture, process, analyze, and visualize data for better decision-making. Organizations and different departments (strategic business units) use analytics platforms to make data-driven decisions.

In areas such as computer programming and operations research, analytics is essential in quantifying performance. Organizations apply analytics to their business data to help them understand their data and make accurate predictions for the future.

Analytics platforms allow companies to employ their platforms on-premises or in the cloud. Industries such as marketing, finance, management, information security, online systems, and software services are the most significant users of analytics platforms.

Examples of Analytics Platforms

  • Microsoft Power BI Desktop.
  • Qlik Sense.
  • Looker.
  • Sisense.
  • Tableau.

12. Security Management System Platforms

Security management system platforms are systems that provide security teams with a centralized hub for managing their network security. These platforms integrate with third-party security products and services for better and faster outcomes.

Through a security management system, the security team gets complete visibility over the organization’s entire network structure. This centralized approach helps them effectively monitor the security network strength and spot potential cybersecurity threats.

Operators are notified through their security management systems if there are intrusions or attempts to access a digital or physical environment.

A properly designed and implemented security management system lets you control several network types and devices.

Most companies use modern security management systems that use a graphical interface to display their security status.

Security management system platforms help security teams eliminate inefficiencies that would hinder them from effectively protecting their business networks.

Examples of Security Management System Platforms

  • Quantum.
  • CloudGuard.
  • Harmony.
  • Horizon.

13. Robotic Platforms

Robotic platforms are systems or tools that provide the framework for developing, managing, and using robotic programs or devices.

A robotic platform makes it easy for people with little or no technical expertise to create robotic programs and devices.

Examples of Robotic Platforms

  • Google ROBEL.
  • Microsoft AirSim.
  • Apollo Baidu.
  • iRobot AWARE.
  • OpenJAUS.
  • Yarp.
  • Pyro.

14. Internet of Things Platforms

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of interconnected physical objects with sensors and processing abilities that collect and share data through the internet.

IoT platforms are on-premise software or cloud services that bridge the gap between device sensors and data networks.

An IoT platform is a set of technologies that allow developers to build software applications, remotely collect data, and manage device connectivity. This platform connects different sets of technologies or communications to ensure a seamless flow of data between devices.

IoT platforms enable you to build hardware and software products to manage the data generated by your connected devices. They serve as the link between physical objects and actionable insights by combining tools and functionalities.

IOT Platform - Hardware level, Application level, middleware level
Source: ResearchGate

Examples of Internet of Things Platforms

  • Google Cloud IoT.
  • Salesforce IoT Cloud.
  • IBM Watson IoT.
  • Amazon AWS IoT Core.
  • Microsoft Azure IoT Hub.
  • Oracle IoT.

15. AI Platforms

Artificial Intelligence (AI) platforms offer AI-based services that enable you to build and manage your own AI.

AI platforms provide an enabling environment for machine learning, such as a machine learning database that enables you to build your AI applications effectively.

As an integrated set of technologies, AI platforms enable organizations to create, develop, and operate their AI applications at scale.

Examples of AI Platforms

  • Google AI Platform.
  • TensorFlow.
  • Microsoft Azure.
  • Rainbird.
  • Infosys Nia.
  • Wipro HOLMES.

16. Gaming Platforms

A gaming platform combines electronic or computer hardware and software to allow a video game to run efficiently. This platform is the supporting system that allows users to play multiplayer online games on different devices.

The three most popular gaming platforms are personal computers, video game consoles, and mobile devices.

Examples Gaming Platforms

  • The Sony PlayStation.
  • Microsoft's Xbox.
  • Nintendo's Switch.
  • PCs.
  • Mobile.

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Anastasia Belyh

Editor at FounderJar

Anastasia has been a professional blogger and researcher since 2014. She loves to perform in-depth software reviews to help software buyers make informed decisions when choosing project management software, CRM tools, website builders, and everything around growing a startup business.

Anastasia worked in management consulting and tech startups, so she has lots of experience in helping professionals choosing the right business software.