For the last year, we have used several times in this blog the concept of “ecosystem” as a metaphor from the natural world to define a new frame and mindset in the business landscape that captures a profound shift in management and economy and the growing importance of relationships, partnerships, networks, alliances, and collaborations between companies.We did it when writing about brands, startups or The Internet of the Things, among several other issues. We did it convinced that the notion of business ecosystems is now a crucial approach for innovation. We are glad to see Deloitte agreeing and publishing a very interesting report on the subject.
Business ecosystems come of age is the latest report in the Business Trend Series of Deloitte University Press, an imprint of Deloitte Development with the mission of publishing original articles, reports and periodicals that offer business insights, analysis and perspectives for executives and government leaders. According to Deloitte’s publisher, The Business Trend Series in particular “outlines trends that could potentially disrupt the way businesses engage their customers, how work gets done, and how markets and industries evolve”.
Business ecosystems come of age presents a series of articles describing how businesses are moving beyond traditional industry silos and conjoining networked ecosystems, creating new opportunities for innovation. The report offers a glimpse of how some view the rise of ecosystems as an opportunity for creating powerful new competitive advantage as it becomes increasingly possible for firms to deploy and activate assets they neither own nor control and expand the possible beyond of their expertise and activities.
We highly recommend reading it. Not sure? Here you can find a summary of its various articles and subjects and ideas dealt with.
Introduction: A brief history of the concept of ecosystems applied to business and how it all started in the technology sector but now is also taking root far beyond.
Blurring boundaries, uncharted frontiers: Long-standing boundaries and constraints that have traditionally determined the evolution of business are dissolving, allowing new ecosystem possibilities to flourish.
Wicked opportunities: Many kinds of complex, dynamic, and seemingly intractable social challenges are being reframed and attacked with renewed vigor through ecosystems formed by unprecedented networks of NGOs, social entrepreneurs, governments, and even businesses coalescing around them.
Regulating ecosystems: Regulators are challenged to create policies and solutions that protect the public’s interests and are also dynamic enough to keep pace with innovation born through ecosystems.
Supply chains and value webs: A set of powerful developments have worked together to help transform the business environment, changing how supply chains are configured, further heightening their strategic significance for many firms, and creating new leadership imperatives for the years ahead. Now “companies don’t compete—supply chains do.”
The new calculus of corporate portfolios: The rise of business ecosystems is compelling strategists to value assets according to an additional calculus, often generating different conclusions about what should be owned.
The power of platforms: Properly designed business platforms can help create and capture new economic value and scale the potential for learning across entire ecosystems.
Minimum viable transformation: Business model transformations are not unprecedented, they have always happened. It is not even new that business model transformations must consider the evolution of a company’s broader ecosystem. What is new today is that such transformations must be considered and accomplished routinely—not as storm-of-the-century events.