Introduction: Business ecosystems come of age

Businesses are moving beyond traditional industry silos and coalescing into richly networked ecosystems, creating new opportunities for innovation alongside new challenges for many incumbent enterprises.

Ecosystems typically bring together multiple players of different types and sizes in order to create, scale, and serve markets in ways that are beyond the capacity of any single organisation—or even any traditional industry. Their diversity—and their collective ability to learn, adapt, and, crucially, innovate together—are key determinants of their longer-term success.

Enabled by greatly enhanced connectivity across specialised capabilities and resources, ecosystems develop new, co-created solutions that address fundamental human needs and desires and growing societal challenges. While forging superior ways to create new value, ecosystems also increase the importance of discovering new business models to capture that value in a world of commoditisation and “de-monetization.”

Competition, while still essential, is certainly not the sole driver of sustained success. Participants are additionally incentivised by shared interests, goals, and values, as well as by the growing need to collaborate in order to meet increasing customer demands, to invest in the long-term health of their
shared ecosystem, from which all can derive mutual benefit.

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