What is a digital ecosystem?
A digital ecosystem is essentially a group of interconnected information technology resources that work together as a unit. Such digital ecosystems consist of suppliers, customers, trading partners, applications, third-party data service providers and all their respective technologies and systems. Interoperability is critical for a digital ecosystem to function well.
It is essentially a a dynamic, interconnected network that requires reliable communication among customers and trading partners. When a proper, well-integrated digital ecosystem is built, it makes it possible for businesses to make the most of new as well as legacy technologies and develop automated processes around these systems to keep the business growing on a continuous basis. Such a digital ecosystem would enable organizations to create end-to-end business flows from the ‘outside-in’ through the combination of B2B, application, and data integrations to the entire business network.
Digital ecosystems allow you to concentrate on driving business value by getting rid of frustrations with outdated, legacy B2B solutions. They add value to your customer interactions and relationships, helping you hit your customer SLAs consistently, surface exceptions rapidly, and offer quicker resolutions to issues. They provide you with the tools that you need to to build, operate, and govern big data, cloud, application, and B2B integration platforms, all in one single platform that spans all your integration use cases.
Why are digital ecosystems important?
Several organizations have made digital transformation a priority in recent years, and the establishment of a digital ecosystem is critical for these organizations to improve their performance and help with interactions outside the organization.
These digital ecosystems are also playing a major role in revolutionizing supply chains. Supply chains that earlier functioned in separate markets are converging in digital ecosystems to support the development of new products and services, giving rise to supplier ecosystems. Even though most companies still rely on the traditional supply chain, the new model of digital supply chain ecosystems is transforming the world of business by creating linear paths between suppliers and customers, thereby leading to the emergence of new business opportunities.
What are the benefits of digital ecosystems?
Quicker adoption of technology
Through the use of digital ecosystems, companies are able to implement new technology in ways that were earlier too complicated and unmanageable, allowing them to take complete advantage of cloud services and SaaS.
Creation of new sources of revenue
Ecosystem integration generates new revenue streams and enables organizations to track and analyze wide-ranging data that flows through the business. They can utilize this data to develop new products and services with higher value.
Lower costs with better business processes
Digital transformation and the establishment of a digital ecosystem enhance workflow efficiency and working relationships with customers and partners. Automation of data processes and improvement in businesswide efficiency also reduce operational costs substantially.
How are digital ecosystems managed?
Digital ecosystems come with significant technical, legal and business-related difficulties. Some of the biggest challenges faced with digital ecosystems include service orchestration, delivery and monetization, customer communication management (CCM), and customer data management (CDM).
Here are some of the tools used for managing a digital ecosystem:
- Project management tools like agile software development tools, task management software and issue tracking systems
- Research applications (for data storage and visualization), resource libraries and archives
- Engagement tools such as email marketing, donor management tools, and customer relationship management (CRM) software
- Collaboration tools, including email, file sharing, instant messaging, and video conferencing systems
- Public platforms like websites, mobile apps, and social media channels
- Knowledge management platforms such as intranets and wikis
What are the types of digital ecosystems?
The three most prominent types of digital ecosystems are digitizer ecosystems, platform ecosystems and super platform ecosystems.
Such ecosystems concentrate on digitizing an existing product with the help of business partners, while simultaneously trying to lower the level of managerial complexity. Such ecosystems can add new functionality to systems and create digital service revenue.
These ecosystems are best suited for businesses with strong product capabilities, limited digital abilities and a primarily internal focus. They’re great for organizations seeking to make their established product smart and connected.
These ecosystems are more advanced than digitizer ecosystems are. Their aim is to flawlessly connect users and smart devices on a platform, while simultaneously guaranteeing high service levels and fewer obstacles. Platform ecosystems create revenue streams from platform usage. The data generated by the ecosystem can also be utilized for similar businesses and service models.
Platform ecosystems are best for companies that already have solid digital capabilities and a strong focus on external expertise. Established tech startups and companies have a greater degree of likelihood to adapt this platform as their core business model than nontech companies do.
Super platform ecosystems
These are the most complex types of digital ecosystems. They concentrate on integrating multiple platforms into one integrated service, while also capturing user data from the integrated platform. This type of ecosystem offers a wide range of user data and even converts the data into money using adjacent business models.
Super platform ecosystems are ideal for companies that possess advanced digital abilities and an established platform from the start, along with a willingness to work with external partners. Because of this, super platform ecosystems are preferred by well-established tech companies.
In order to get the best results, a lot of companies prefer to use more than one type of ecosystem at a time. As an example, Amazon Alexa makes use of all three types of digital ecosystems. The digitizer ecosystem enhances the smart speaker's hardware and voice recognition functionality, the platform ecosystem is used for adding skills and applications that are used to increase the services offered by Alexa, and a super platform ecosystem is used to integrate all other platforms.