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The new age of ecosystems

Redefining partnering in an ecosystem environment

In today’s digital world, emerging technologies have already made a significant impact, creating an economic environment that is far more connected and open, simple and intelligent, fast and scalable. Consumers are forming an ever-more insatiable desire for sophisticated and compelling experiences in all aspects of their lives. Organizations are beginning to come under intense pressure to catch-up and deliver on a very different set of customer expectations. In today’s era of exponentially increasing data and information, and ubiquitous digitization, the new economic equation favors transparency and collaboration.

Executives will be challenged to find new avenues of partnership to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the emergence of new ecosystems. They will continue to focus on their core businesses in and around their primary industries. But they will also likely seek additional growth opportunities outside traditional sources, capitalizing on particular functions or activities that constitute their true competitive advantage. This IBM Institute for Business Value executive report examines how ecosystems will change the nature of business activities, expand capabilities and enable experiences beyond anything possible today.

New technologies are making business more intelligent, fast and scalable. As the world becomes more connected, organizations will encounter increasing difficulty compet-ing as solo entities. In today’s era of exponentially increasing data and information, and ubiquitous digitiza-tion, the new economic equation favors transparency and collaboration.

In search of innovation, more than half of CxOs expect to open up their enterprises — bringing down barriers to extend collaboration both inside and outside their organizations. As a result, the focus of innovative organizations is likely to shift in the near future from organization-centricity to one that is ecosystem-centric. An ecosystem can be thought of as a complex web of interdependent enterprises and relationships that creates and allocates business value.

Ecosystems are broad by nature, potentially spanning multiple geographies and industries, including public and private institutions, as well as consumers.

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Meet the author

Anthony Marshall, Senior Research Director, IBM Institute for Business Value

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