The digital landscape has changed remarkably in the past decade, and new advances in technology are paving the way for more revolution. Perhaps one way the digital transformation has changed business most is in the way we share information.
In essence, the digital revolution has become the digital evolution. New advances in technology mean that businesses need to keep pace faster and faster if they want to survive in the world of Big Data.
We’re no longer silos of enterprises, consumers, and things. Instead, we all share one digital ecosystem. Gartner defines a digital ecosystem as an “interdependent group of actors sharing standardized digital platforms to achieve a mutually beneficial purpose.” In other words, it’s a blurry line between business and industry. Here are five tips for building a clear and beneficial digital ecosystem with scalable collaborations.
Create an Open Collaborative Environment
Seek an environment that is digital ecosystem-ready and get your company on board by preparing your organizational attitude and management. A recent survey by Gartner of more than 2,500 chief information officers found that spending is on the rise for digitalization, despite only a modest increase in IT funding. Currently, CIOs are spending an average of 18 percent on digitalization; expect that number to increase to 28 percent by 2018. The research also revealed that the major differences between companies classified as top performers were the creation and participation of a digital ecosystem.
To get to the top of the pack, enterprises must focus on their organizational capabilities. An IT skills gap will hinder your attempts to create a digital ecosystem; bimodal IT will be essential for companies in making a collaborative environment. This allows for the ready adoption of new technologies and adaptation of things and people into the ecosystem.
Foster Cooperative Relationships
Relationships are at the heart of business. The key to building and maintaining your digital ecosystem is to keep those relationships at the forefront. I think we sometimes fall into the trap of neglecting our customers’ best interests in favor of maintaining our status quo. But we no longer have the luxury of standing still, especially when the markets are shifting so quickly because of the digital transformation. A market disruption is good in this case—provided your business is on the right side of the disruption.
To remain competitive in an ever-changing marketplace, you need to build your digital ecosystem with a focus on customers. Listen to their concerns and frustrations, and be proactive in addressing their needs. Partner with those who share your vision—startups and entrepreneurs are masters at this approach, and it’s time we took a page out of their book.
Support a Culture of Innovation
How do you organize your innovation? Do your new ideas follow a top-down processing approach? Truly collaborative environments tear down silos and foster collaboration at every level of business. Don’t think about your business in terms of hierarchy. Instead, embrace the idea that every member of your digital ecosystem is a valuable player who can drive the success of your enterprise.
Create incentives for innovation and consider how all partners and suppliers contribute to your business development. Partners will drive innovation and growth as you adopt, consume, scale, and leverage innovation for a lasting impact. We see this in the tech industry all the time with open source software and coding project. It works!
Assemble Agile Management
The need for your business to be agile has never been greater. However, agility is no longer capable of keeping a business ahead; it merely lets you keep up with the pack. Managers must ensure their organizations can pivot with market shifts, even dropping or switching partnerships if the going gets too rough. The ability to adapt to new conditions will be a driving factor in maintaining your digital ecosystem, as partners and suppliers change and customer needs evolve.
Invest in the Right Digital Technology
A holistic ecosystem is a conglomerate of people, things, businesses, and technology. Invest in both core and emerging technologies to build your digital ecosystem DNA. Cloud services, analytics, management, and security are currently the biggest planned investments in technology, according to the Gartner report. A differentiated approach is essential to modernizing your technology core and preparing your enterprise for the future.
Those who invest in creating a digital ecosystem will find themselves better prepared to take on the challenges of modern business. It’s an exciting time for business, and I think the collaboration between members in an ecosystem will only benefit consumers in the long run.
Additional Resources on This Topic:
How to Grow Your B2B Business with Actionable Insights from Big Data
Digital Transformation for B2B Marketers and the Generational Path to Purchase
Top 10 Digital Transformation Trends for 2017 – Trend 9: Artificial Intelligence [Video]
A version of this post was first published on Forbes.
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