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How Tech CEOs Participate in Ecosystems

By Rene Buest | March 04, 2021 | 0 Comments

Corporate Development for Tech CEOs

Sixty-one percent of tech CEOs who participated in a Gartner’s Tech CEO Ecosystems Survey say that ecosystem involvement is driving new customer interactions, sales and distribution channels.

In the current digital world, ecosystems are increasingly important as digital technologies enable technology and service providers (TSP) to expand the reach and scope of their business models to deliver value to clients. Hence, ecosystems continue to evolve, becoming the basis of innovative digital solutions and products. Ecosystems are characterized by the collaboration of their participants directed at innovation and ultimately value for targeted customers and/or markets.

Ecosystem Involvement Results in New Customer Interactions, Sales and Distribution Channels

Many tech CEOs are leveraging or seeking to leverage ecosystems as they see this as an opportunity to add their company’s specific value to a whole product or as part of a digital value chain a client needs. In our TSP Research Circle Tech CEO Ecosystems Survey, we asked CEOs of small or medium technology businesses (up to $250 million in revenue):

  • Are they part of an ecosystem?
  • What are their expectations?
  • How does participation impact their organization?

The key take-aways from that survey include:

  • For the majority of participating organizations (61%), ecosystem awareness or involvement has resulted in new customer interactions, sales and distribution channels.
  • In fact, over one-third (35%) state that involvement in ecosystems has already allowed them to enhance their product/service capability, and more (45%) are in progress of achieving this benefit.
  • Consistently, many tech CEO respondents also indicate that participating in ecosystems allows them to deliver value through enhancements to their products and services, supplier partnerships, market visibility, and ROI.
  • The greatest concern over ecosystem participation is the fear of not having the ability to execute (52%), followed by ecosystem providers turning into a competitor (35%).

Ecosystems should be an important part of a tech CEO’s route-to-market strategy, but an understanding of the ecosystem and the skills required to execute it are missing from the repertoire of many tech CEOs. To lay the foundation for future growth, tech CEOs need to harness the power of ecosystems. Ecosystems are more than just complex, adaptive and self-organizing systems. Ecosystem approaches are a vital element to bolster or disrupt traditional business models.

Determine How You Can Leverage Digital Ecosystems

In the digital business era, it becomes imperative for tech CEOs to understand and model how ecosystems will create new business capabilities, products and services, and business models.

The first step in ecosystem modeling for tech CEOs is to understand the ecosystem perspective and the insights that it provides. Modeling is necessary but is insufficient to provide “the answer” to the deeper dynamics of a certain ecosystem. Tech CEOs must drive an iterative, sustained, and analytical approach to achieve an effective ecosystem model capable of providing informed insight.

In our research document “Tech CEOs Participate in Ecosystems to Drive New Customer Interactions” we determine how tech CEOs can leverage digital ecosystems.

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