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How to Compete When Industries Digitize and Collide: An Ecosystem Development Framework

Industry boundaries are dissolving through the dramatic growth of digitalization, and platforms connecting different actors are transforming the way firms organize and compete. This new world raises new opportunities and challenges. Firms that sponsor ecosystems spanning a broad spectrum of activities and engaging many different complementors are able to achieve significant competitive advantage. They can also change the landscape of competition itself, requiring everyone around them to rethink their value-add. But how can a firm navigate this complex context? Should it become a partner to someone else’s ecosystem, or build its own? Should it focus on a broad range of digitally connected services, or narrow down? And, regardless of which path is chosen, what are the key issues to consider? How should a firm look at the questions of creating an ecosystem value proposition, choosing complementors, and governance? What should be the unifying narrative, and what is the investment case for joining an ecosystem – or not? Firms accustomed to autonomy must consider whether and how to begin working much more closely with others, and potentially confront the need to transform their organization. This White Paper provides a brief summary of the Ecosystem Development Framework by the Evolution team. It builds on insights from our client work for entrepreneurial ventures, including lessons of both failure and success, as well as perspectives from the academic literature. Our framework is also informed by our work with major global corporates, primarily in Asia and Europe, as we helped them adjust to the exciting challenges of a changing world.


Read the full paper here.

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