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How the best companies create value from their ecosystems

To make ecosystems work, companies need to select the path that best matches their scale and core assets, build the right capabilities, and then determine how to value and assess their progress.

Developing ecosystem strategies has become a priority for many global companies. However, many are confused by the complexity of the ecosystem environment and daunted by the challenge of generating value from their ecosystem investments.

In our view, it is critical for companies to understand at the outset that different types of players should pursue different approaches. They can begin by aligning their strategy with one of three archetypes that best fits their business and its capabilities: growing the core business, expanding the company’s network or portfolio, or building end-to-end solutions. Once they decide on an archetype (or a combination of them), they can later assess their performance with appropriate metrics.

More importantly, they can aim to monetize their investments through value levers, such as improved revenues from core products and services and merchant-funded platform use (archetype 1); new customer-funded products and services, merchant-funded platform usage, and third-party-funded data monetization (archetype 2), and new products and services and increased operational efficiency (archetype 3).

In the full report, we explain how different players can capture value and measure their success, depending on their scale and core assets. In doing so, we present three questions for companies to answer:

  • How should we evaluate the success of our ecosystem value creation strategies? We have identified four types of ecosystem players: local champion, large incumbent, digital start-up, and internet giant. All players can measure the success of their efforts against the archetypes they choose by using strategic or economic metrics.
  • What types of value do our ecosystem strategies create? The value ecosystems players create vary according to the archetype (or archetypes) they choose—and how their strategies evolve.
  • What are the key capabilities we need to capture ecosystem value? Six capabilities help business leaders obtain ecosystem value: advanced analytics, agile development and operations, governance that supports a broad portfolio of businesses, a strong middle platform, entrepreneurial talent, and robust partnerships.

To download the full report, click the link below.

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