What is the Point of a Digital Ecosystem?

By  //  October 26, 2021

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To truly understand the power of the digital ecosystem, the first step is knowing what a digital ecosystem is. It is the network of partners, products, suppliers, applications, third-party data suppliers, customers, and their respective technologies – all connected via a digital space.

This digital ecosystem dictates reliable communication among trading partners and customers and allows companies to leverage new technologies and continually grow the business. It puts you in a position to focus on driving business value by constantly driving change and improving customer relationships. 

Why are digital ecosystems important? 

Many organisations strategies have recently been incorporating digital transformation and this calls for a digital ecosystem to be established and mapped. It allows said organisations to focus their energy on improving their performance and helping them with interactions outside of the company. It removed any obstacles linked to outdated B2B services. It adds value to your customer relationships by helping you to meet their SLAs (service level agreements) and provide fast fixes.

These ecosystems are completely transforming supply chains that had originally functioned in separate markets by bringing them together.

This system supports the developments of new products and services and, although the more traditional supply chain is still the foundation of most companies, this digitalised system is transforming the world of business by creating paths between suppliers and customers – creating new business opportunities.

The benefits of a digital ecosystem

Generating new sources of revenue. Integrating these systems creates new revenue streams and allows you to track and analyse a wide range of data that is flowing through the business. You can then use this data to create new products and services with an increased value.

Faster adoption of new technology. You can adopt new technologies in ways that were previously too complicated.

Decreased costs of better business processes. It improves workflow efficiency and relationships with both customers and partners. It automates data processes and increases overall efficiency whilst reducing operational costs.

How it works

The tools for managing an ecosystem usually fall into one of the following categories:

Project management – task management software and issue tracking systems.

Research applications – data storage and resource libraries/archives.

Engagement tools – email marketing, customer relationship management (CRM) software and donor management tools

Collaboration tools – email, file sharing and instant messaging

Public platforms – websites, apps and social media

How to map a digital ecosystem

The following steps are how you can create a digital ecosystem map:

Create a list of tools and applications used within the organisation.

Record who uses these tools and identify who is responsible for the management of each one. This is to ensure they are included in the ecosystem.

Categorise these tools and define what each one does for which department.

Form links between tools and indicate where data is being transferred. Note which tasks are being duplicated and which possess similar functions.

Define the effectiveness of every tool. Investigate whether any tools are underperforming and need to be replaced or upgraded. 

Rank each tool according to how critical it is to the organization.