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Why Ecosystems May Determine Your Business Success

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“It takes a village to raise a child” — nothing can be further from the truth that this old adage regarding today’s businesses.

Today’s companies are interconnected, not solitary islands. They engage with each other at different levels. Sometimes they are outright competitors, and other times they are partners. The term “co-petition” exists because every business leader knows that it takes an ecosystem to drive success.

In today’s digital-first economy, ecosystems are becoming an essential pillar of strength. Forty-nine percent of companies in an IBM Institute for Business Value Global Survey (done in collaboration with Economist Intelligence Unit) said ecosystems will shape their business primary activities and focus areas.

This survey was done in 2016. In 2020, when the pandemic hit, ecosystems became the focus of a lot of companies. Besides economies scale, companies began to see the value in co-creation and accelerating their time-to-market through collaboration. When companies had to pivot or shift their business model to adapt to new business needs, they had to rely on their ecosystem partners to add value. It has given birth to concepts like alternative fulfillment, new store concepts, and ownership models.

Take the automobile industry. More customers are unwilling to own a car. Instead, many see the real need for a vehicle lies in mobility. This is creating a whole new market in shared vehicle usage and the rise of public transportation usage.

In the banking industry, the traditional branch is losing its appeal. A new generation of retail banking customers is asking for a more extensive banking ecosystem. As they embrace new payment channels and alternative financial channels, banks are becoming orchestrators and relationship managers.

What is occurring is a change in the end customer behavior. In the same IBM Institute of Business Value Global Survey, 54% of executives worldwide noted customer buying behavior is shifting. Fifty-one said industry boundaries are blurring, while 55% said competition is coming from new and unexpected sources.

Fast forward to 2020, the pandemic has tipped these trends mainstream.

How EcoCloud accelerates ecosystem creation

There are two ways to address changes in customer behaviors. The conventional is to build everything on your own or bring in white label products to reinforce your value proposition.

With behaviors changing rapidly and with limited resources, companies are now choosing to build ecosystems. At the core, ecosystems are a complex web of interdependent enterprises and relationships for creating and allocating business value. They are bound by mutual interest and not necessarily country boundaries.

EcoCloud takes the concept one step further with the cloud. It offers an out-of-box API-based cloud marketplace. It allows companies to build an ecosystem (or several depending on the businesses) rapidly to address behavior changes. Using APIs will enable companies to accelerate time-to-market and encourage new innovative offerings.

EcoCloud also builds on agile DevOps and automation/self-service concepts. This means onboarding new ecosystem partners can be done quickly, while software development teams can shift left while exploring new offerings.    

Understanding the benefits

Previous attempts looked at building ecosystems using several vendors, a single vendor approach by IBM simplifies it. So, businesses can focus on building and growing their ecosystems and not be bogged down by software maintenance and interconnectivity.

With EcoCloud, companies gain two significant benefits.

The first is a strong business case justification. In the IBM Institute for Business Value Global Ecosystems, business leaders knew ecosystem engagement offers advantages. Yet, many still remain unconvinced of the business case. In fact, on average, the executives expect ecosystem engagement to negatively impact their business. In short, they feel it is not worth their effort. With EcoCloud’s rapid and simplified approach, they can find that worth quickly and with less effort.

The second significant benefit is innovation. As demands decelerate and companies compete for changing consumer expectations, innovation is now seen as a competitive tool. In a separate IBM Institute of Business Value Innovation in Ecosystem survey, organizations said they derive 10% of their revenue from innovation activities. By 2021, that 41% is expected to grow to 75%.

Many see innovation as a single-company pursuit. Only 24% of executives across all organizations said they used external partners for innovation in the survey. The challenge is in creating and maintaining an ecosystem. EcoCloud offers a smarter alternative to collaborate, co-create, and co-innovate a new value proposition.

Know more

So how can you start your EcoCloud and accelerate time-to-value? What are the benefits of an APP/API store and multi-tenancy support? And how can you automate partner onboarding and empower them with self-service features?

Answering these questions and more requires a conversation. So, if you are curious, join our EcoCloud Executive Virtual Roundtable on 12-Nov-2020 (Thu) to discuss with business leaders across industries to understand more.

To be part of the EcoCloud conversation and learn why it takes an ecosystem to build success, register here.

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