What is an ecosystem
So what is it, that we understand by an ecosystem? The concept around ecosystems is nothing new and dates back over a century deriving from the science of ecology. Biologists describe a community of living organisms (plants, animals, and bacteria) and nonliving components (air, water, soil, weather) that interact with each other as a system.
Every element of the system is interconnected; Any change of one element results in a change to the entire ecosystem. Transferring this definition and adapting it towards our business world makes the many analogies existing become visible: interaction, interoperability and interdependence.
The term ecosystem has become a frequently used term and mutated into a very well-known business buzzword used in direct connection with terms like “network” or “cluster”. Though different studies share the opinion that the difference between a network or cluster to an ecosystem is grounded in the fundamental principle of acting interconnected and with purpose. This leads us to collectively co-create and co-develop solutions for today’s challenges within a community, sharing common values and benefits.
The key role of an ecosystem play eye-level, equal partnerships, resulting in increased value and opportunities for all ecosystem players.
Why promote digital ecosystemic thinking
In times of the 4th industrial revolution, we need a different way of thinking, moving from the principles of optimization towards a more interconnected world where a digital mindset plays a crucial asset.
It has never been so easy to exchange information.
According to Moore’s law (Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel), the amount of computing power in our digital world doubles every 18 months. By 2015 we had reached a transmission speed of 100 gigabits per second. This is 10,000 times faster thank 1990. This results in a more connected world, reduction in transaction costs within and between companies.
Understanding that innovation is key to overcome today’s challenges, the ecosystem economy does not count any longer on the individual power of a single company, rather the strength of an entire ecosystem and its partners promote change and transformation. The shift towards costumer-centricity needs the digital ecosystem to ensure a more holistic perspective on human needs, irrelevant of traditional industry metrics.
This leads to completely new opportunities for growth:
- Opening new pathways to innovation
- Facilitating processes
- Being more agile
- Ensuring quicker adaption
to our fast-moving and quickly changing world, joining a broad umbrella of expertise from different organisations.