The emerging ecosystem economy
Innovation ecosystem sounds like a buzzword, but let’s be clear: ecosystems are not new. For decades, organisations have partnered across borders to co-create better solutions. Even the humble computer mouse was conceived by bringing together diverse capabilities, processes, and products from hundreds of parties.
What’s new is that the ecosystem business model is becoming data empowered. This changes the game entirely.
Because when you enrich a cross-border partnership with a standardised data exchange (or data ecosystem), it opens the door to next-level agility and scale – and solutions that weren’t previously possible.
And businesses are taking note. More than half of the S&P Global 100 are already engaged in a ecosystem model, according to BCG Henderson Institute. BCG also found that 90% of organisations in a recent study plan to ramp up their ecosystem activities. And that 23% of new ‘unicorns’ launched between 2015 and 2021 are ecosystem orchestrators.
This shift towards data-empowered innovation ecosystems is reshaping value chains, industries, and the economy at large. McKinsey, for example, estimates that 30% of the world's expected $190 trillion revenue turnover is set to be redistributed across existing industry boundaries.
Ecosystem innovation is no buzzword or fad. It’s the future of business innovation. Here’s why...
Why co-innovation is replacing closed innovation
The challenge with traditional innovation systems is that they tend to be inward-looking – driven by existing tech solutions, organisational silos, and ring-fenced knowledge. The result? Siloed applications and disconnected experiences that fail to serve real customer journeys and evolving needs.
That's why businesses are fundamentally changing the way they collaborate, compete, and create value. They’re ditching closed innovation for data-led co-innovation, which is more agile, scalable, and customer-centric.
You can’t create radically new value inside old silos – around your data, capabilities, systems, and tech platforms.
To seize the opportunities afforded us by rapid tech advances and explosive data growth, we must innovate beyond company and industry borders, joining the dots between our data, capabilities, and services to create new value at scale.
So what does data-led co-innovation actually entail? And how can it create sustainable value for you and your customers?
What is an innovation ecosystem?
An innovation ecosystem is a group of diverse organisations working together towards a shared goal, connected by a standardised data exchange or data ecosystem.
These ecosystem players exchange complementary data, capabilities, and assets, innovating beyond company and industry borders to co-create new solutions that deliver a better customer value proposition.
When you co-innovate with diverse partners, you create something better than your organisation could ever do alone. An ecosystem brings diverse players together to create greater value than the sum of its parts.
For customers, this means innovative products and services that better meet their diverse and changing needs. For organisations, ecosystem innovation enables you to create new value at a scale that's not possible with a closed, siloed, and inwards-looking approach to innovation.