As IT professionals, we have never been strangers to change. New technologies have come and gone…some minor, some quite disruptive. However, the Third Platform is upon us and has opened the door to new opportunities to drive performance, agility and value for our businesses.While I’ve been a part of each platform throughout my 30+ years in the industry, this is the first time that so many trends – cloud, Big Data, analytics, mobile, social, digital and security – have converged simultaneously. This presents some challenges for CIOs and IT professionals.For instance, a recent Economist Intelligence Unit Survey cited that while 92% of those surveyed are familiar with these emerging technologies and trends, only 50% know how to integrate them into their business.That said, forever the optimist, I am excited about exploring the “art of the possible” to disrupt not only how we deliver IT, but how our users consume and drive value in this third platform. So where do we start?In my opinion, we start with the business. Our first priority should be engaging more closely with the business; conversing in their language; understanding their expectations; and demonstrating how IT can quickly unlock agility and revenue opportunities.Within EMC IT, we built an industry-leading cloud infrastructure, which is the foundation for our third platform approach. We are delving deeper into Big Data and offering business analytics as a service; we’re building mobile apps; and we’re starting to offer a more convenient and contemporary experience for employees. For example, we recently began rolling out an enterprise version of Syncplicity to encourage sharing and collaboration. But we have a long way to go.For years, we have clamored for a seat at the table. If we want to be a contemporary IT organization, we need to partner even closer with the business and explore how we can unlock the art of the possible to make our business users more agile and productive. The third platform has given us our seat at the table…and it is ours to lose.How are you embracing the third platform?