In media and technology everything is changing with increasing speed and complexity, and in order to stay competitive, companies have to look forward in a way that harnesses a new paradigm of digital technology and the overall digital ecosystem.  Examples like AirBnB and Uber are the first of many disrupters, the “canary in the coalmine” of what is to come in the new technological age.

What is the Digital Ecosystem?

The “digital ecosystem” is a subset of the technology and media companies specialized in content creation (i.e. via websites, social media, etc), development of software and software applications (i.e. mobile apps, etc). These companies provide a platform for creating, distributing and consuming apps, content and services.

All these companies comprise an ecosystem together because of their collective impact on a wide range of customers. For instance, Uber is likely the best example of a company which utilized digital technology to completely disrupt a decidedly “offline” business, the taxi cab industry.

These types of trends of disruption are forcing companies to look at the future with an eye towards undoing the current environment. For this reason, for forward looking executives is critical to understand the digital ecosystem and its trends. A company can differentiate through the way it uses the new technology, or innovative uses of existing technology.

This handy graphic below shows a layout of the current ecosystem as it exists today:

Viewpoint of Business Owners

Business owners are excited by the unlimited potential opened by internet growth in the new digital ecosystem. They recognize its multiple benefits, such as increased efficiency and stronger customer orientation, both aspects being vital in an era of budget constraints. However, the usage of digital technology requires leadership and vision in order to drive digital transformation and prepare for the new digital era.

Utilizing consulting firms can also be a way to give fresh perspective on growth potential.  Companies like our own (RR Manchester) have been handling the digital growth of varieties of companies for years.  By creating the digital transformation’s building blocks, you should approach this challenge holistically. You will need first a business strategy adapted to the new digital ecosystem. This requires assessing the way internet growth and digitization fits with your business ambitions and the impact on your industry.

Identify Growth Areas

You also need to identify your business’ areas where digitization and internet can help the most, and how. You also need to ensure developing some digital skills across your company and especially in the IT department, in case that your organization has one. You have to openly embrace innovation, reaping benefits from various government initiatives and learning from international players. As opposed to spending more, you also should invest in technology more wisely, mitigating risk.

These steps can bring your business up to speed in the new digital ecosystem and even enable you to become global leaders. The internet growth harnesses the power of technology to inspire trust, re-image the customer experience, solve problems, reinvent business models and accelerate change. When competing in today’s industries, going digital has become a key differentiation for companies.

How Can We Benefit?

The new digital ecosystem can bring multiple benefits for companies. By selling existing products through digital channels or adding digital services and products to their portfolio, it can allow them to grow their business. It can also enable them becoming more efficient in their decision making and their operations.

Establishing a digital ecosystem is the next stage for companies that have already started their digital journeys. Working within a digital ecosystem will help these organizations to improve their performance and to interact with those outside the company.

Value is driven by the digital ecosystem along three tracks: rationalizing cost structure, creating new revenue sources, and increasing the speed of technology adoption. Of course, for any business aiming to take maximum advantage of the new digital ecosystem’s benefits, it’s important to take the necessary steps to prevent data leakage. Open communication and clear boundaries with partners are crucial.