One of the hottest topics of conversation in IT circles these days is the move to the third platform. For some organizations, making the leap will require a shift in their IT game plan.

The third platform, according to analysts from research firm IDC, is the name of the new model of computing we are beginning to adopt: using mobile device to access cloud-based applications and data, and integrating big data analytics and social technologies. It’s called the third platform because it’s the third “once-every-25-year” shift to a totally new computing model. The first platform, consisting of mainframes and terminals, gave way to the second platform in the mid-1980s. This second platform, which we are all familiar with, is the client-server model supported by the PC.

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