There’s very little doubt that ecosystems are completely changing the face of business in the modern world, moving it away from the strict vertical hierarchies of the 20th Century and towards more robust distributed business models instead. According to numerous surveys, most execs agree that ecosystems are the future, with barriers to adoption being steadily overcome.
Discussions of ecosystems do tend to take a “holistic” slant, focusing on how synergy makes them an effective strategy for all associated companies. However, embracing an ecosystem model can also easily pay off with direct benefits to the host company – particularly in terms of innovation and agility.
1. Reduced ownership requirements and asset expenditures
There’s probably no better example of just how revolutionary ecosystem-based models can be than Uber, which exploded seemingly overnight to completely disrupt the taxi industry. What’s remarkable about this is that Uber did this without buying a single vehicle! Their ecosystem approach of hiring independent contractors as part of an open network meant they got the benefits of running a taxi service, without the huge costs associated with maintaining a fleet.
And, of course, now everyone wants to be “The Uber of _______” due to the effectiveness of this model!
2. Quickly assembling global talent
Uncountable businesses would like to go global, but are held back by too many manpower issues – particularly when talking about expansion into lucrative developing nations. It’s too difficult to find and train qualified workers, requiring a lot of feet on the ground. Plus, all too often these nations have governments which can be difficult to work with… at least not without greasing a lot of palms.
However, an ecosystem-based approach greatly lessens these issues. Get a couple local trade schools on your side, or make inroads with local freelancers, and you can easily form a workforce with minimal in-country investment. This is a great way to build a local tech support crew, for example.
3. Streamlining information access
Possibly the single greatest boon the Internet has brought to the planet is instant access to data – and there is no reason not to leverage this to the greatest possible extent. Speaking of post-sale support, imagine how much more smoothly service calls would go if the field worker had direct access to a customer’s smart systems. They could remotely diagnose the hardware based on sensor data before even arriving on-site, allowing for much more rapid repairs, and greatly lowering your support costs.
With cloud-based data sharing systems underpinning the ecosystem, this sort of scenario becomes easily achievable.
4. Rapidly gathering market feedback
This can be a time of great uncertainty for product development, because everything changes so quickly. Trends, buyer behavior, on-the-ground needs. It can be difficult for companies to know how the winds are shifting in time to produce a product which won’t be out-of-date before it’s released.
A robust ecosystem greatly mitigates this problem. By bringing together sales agents, support workers, and end users, you get a huge influx of feedback regarding market needs, as well as suggestions for producing better products. A company needs this sort of positive information flow, if they’re going to keep making products which are relevant to the market.
FUSE Your Operation Together
FUSE by LogicBay is the culmination of over ten years’ experience creating ecosystems and the software necessary to bring them together. It’s an open and free-to-use platform which allows operations of all sizes to create ecosystems, tying together every aspect of their business into an effective and flexible machine.
It’s simple to get started – just click here to claim your free account.