Customers use digital experiences to help satisfy their needs every day. Digital tools expand our experiences and change our lives at home and at work. Digital is now intertwined into the fabric of our lives at work and at home. We expect digital tools to add value to us no matter what we’re doing. Some 89% of executives believe digital will disrupt their business in the next twelve months.

To keep up with the rapidly evolving digital expectations of customers, businesses must not just develop a digital strategy but also become a digital business. This means more than building a few bolt-on mobile apps. It’s a fundamental rethink of your business model within a dynamic digital ecosystem that impacts every aspect of your business.  

Transforming into a digital business is complex enough. But the rapid evolution of digital products and services makes it even more challenging for business leaders to navigate the landscape of digital business. Slow innovation cycles jeopardize the survival of traditional firms, and winning businesses will move toward an ecosystem business model. Digital businesses need to embrace digital ecosystems that support the continuous exchange of information and data to create value.

To master digital business, business leaders must minimize the complexity of digital ecosystems and learn to create value within such ecosystems. Digital ecosystems drive faster innovation, more efficient production, and more agile go-to-market activities, because:

  • Digital communication and collaboration technologies lower transaction costs. Thereby, digital ecosystems increasingly eliminate the raison d’être for many aspects of the vertically integrated company, which develops most inputs in-house that it needs for its products in-house.
  • Successful membership of digital ecosystems underpins every successful business. The interconnected web of digital technologies and services that come together to create value for today’s customer is vast and complex.
  • Most CIOs must master both B2B and B2C ecosystem dynamics to succeed. Those CIOs that understand both operational and customer ecosystems are best positioned to create value for customers. 
  • Supporting membership in digital business ecosystems from a technical perspective must be a priority for the CIO. Specialization is an important factor in defining the shape of digital ecosystems. Groups of specialist firms form nodes in digital ecosystems. These nodes create value for ecosystem members through better collaboration and information exchange.

The report “Customer-Obsessed Businesses Need Digital Ecosystems” helps CIOs understand the digital business landscape and the ecosystems both for businesses selling to consumers and those selling to business.