Transforming ArcGIS into a Platform, One of the primary drivers of the ArcGIS as a platform initiative has been making GIS easier not only for new users but for advanced users, as well. In addition, the platform is open, extendable, and can be leveraged by others, facilitating both the integration of other geospatial technologies, as well as other enterprise IT and web services of many origins. Looking to the future, we see our platform strategy as being of great benefit and value to our users, partners, developers, and ultimately the world itself. It is already creating an ecosystem and community of GIS users who are leveraging each other’s resources and knowledge.
Interesting thoughts from ESRI founder Jack Dangermond.
Firstly this article gives an insight into the process of evolving a "Tool" to a cloud based "Platform" (a difficult feat in itself and something that many are pursuing in their own disciplines and fields).
Secondly, because again we are seeing the (potential) power of opening up a platform to "the masses" (aka downstream). That is, creating an open ecosystem and making complex useful data available in simpler forms for downstream users. In turn, some would argue that if you can get people hooked on your data then it will increase the need for more contact (demand and supply equation).
People talk about "Big Data" all the time however it's often overlooked that the data must come from somewhere. I love that we are seeing more and more disciplines open up. CAD, AEC, GIS, and Manufacturing all seem to be trending towards opening up their platforms and their resulting data which in turn allows us to (potentially) have an incredible, powerful and connected experience.