Ecosystem First

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In just a few short decades, IT has moved from the back office, IDC's 1st Platform, to the front office, the 2nd Platform, and finally embedded itself into nearly every aspect of people's business and personal lives, fueled by 3rd Platform technologies including mobile, social business, cloud, and Big Data and analytics (BDA).

We're entering an era where the distinctions between the technologies and processes that businesses deploy are so tightly linked to their customers and markets that the boundary between the internal operations of an enterprise and its external ecosystem (customers, markets, competitors, partners, and regulators) is rapidly disappearing. Any organization looking to get access to the billions of users and be part of the millions of apps that the digital economy enables needs to understand that there are an entirely different set of metrics that drive real scale and volume.

  1. An "ecosystem first" approach to market, based on an "outside-in" business environment where the external ecosystem calls the shots in terms of product strategy and go-to-market.
  2. Open platforms, standards-based reference architectures — new capabilities are built on an open digital platform so that they are reusable and repeatable.
  3. Investment in APIs and templates that other stakeholders in the ecosystem can leverage to amplify the relevance and usage of a certain product or service.

Ecosystem First

Digital Best Practices

Feedback From a Global Consumer Electronics Manufacturer


This manufacturer historically sold all of its products through the retail channel, and previously had no direct relationship with its customers. Over the past few years, however, it has launched a number of connected products that allows it to engage directly with its customers (primarily via their mobile phones). It is currently in the process of piloting the initiative where it has created a new customer database (on an opt-in basis) that it is using to increase digital presence.

  • Digital Best Practice 1

    Ensure potentially "disintermediated" partners (retailers in this case) are willing to disrupt their business models to support your digital transformation journey.

  • Digital Best Practice 2

    Ensure that new third parties are brought in early as part of the digitally enabled value proposition. In this case, the organization is looking to team up with insurance providers as part of the subscription to highlight how use of the digitally connected products could potentially drive down claims (and therefore premiums) due to improved product usage.

  • Digital Best Practice 3

    Include partners in the new monetization model, particularly in cases where you might be selling on their behalf and sharing the revenues with them.

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