The word “platform” comes from the Middle French “plateforme” meaning ground plan, as in a foundation plan off of which many things can be built.
A computer platform is the hardware and operating system off of which many different software solutions can be built. The iPhone is a platform. Apps are solutions.
An interesting thing is happening. Solutions have exploded to the point that users can't keep up. This fragmentation harms the user experience (UX for short) because people can't use what they can't find in the App clutter.
Platforms are now furiously working against that fragmentation. Siri and Google Now are two examples. If you know how to talk to Siri or Google Now, you can email, text, or find maps, weather, stocks… anything on the web.
Siri and Google Now improve UX and make solutions simplified and accessible to all. Good UX makes platforms and solutions actually usable.
Government is also a platform. Government hosts a proliferation of fragmented solutions, from the Administration on Aging to the Women's Bureau, and the UserCitizen Experience (CX) is typically horrible (think DMV).
Government needs to realize it’s a platform and started focusing on great CX.
So that's my goal for the next five years: make the City of Raleigh the best CX in the world.