Create a stronger digital business ecosystem by partnering

It’s obvious: digital business ecosystems create value. When you connect customers, partners, applications, and all respective technologies, whether hardware or software, information technology (IT) or operational technology, these ecosystems can drive growth, significant innovation and customer satisfaction.

Yet two critical factors for realizing their full potential remain elusive: the vision of ecosystems as self-sustaining systems and the genuine commitment to collaborate with a wide range of partners.

Digital business ecosystems unleash their power in shared platforms. These curated environments allow companies to join forces, co-create and innovate with partners for customers. As new partners join, ecosystems bring new products and services to market faster. They accelerate change, create new revenue streams and facilitate public-private collaboration. They are powerful tools for solving complex problems, such as accelerating sustainability.

Creation of a ecosystem of ecosystems

Participating in – or even establishing – a digital ecosystem is all about scaling up your industry. It’s about making the transition from offering a product or solution to offering a business platform that helps others create and consume value.

Customer demand and changing market conditions rely on the power of ecosystems to enable organizations that operate far apart in diverse settings to collaborate on a shared platform.

Siemens augments its own capabilities by working with a range of partners, including the two leading global cloud platforms, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS), to develop products, solutions and go-to-market initiatives. common.

A global leader in low-code development, Mendix, a Siemens company, is reinventing the way applications are built in the digital enterprise. Its platform is designed to drive collaboration between business and IT teams and accelerate application development cycles to help companies embark on their digital future.

Organizations use Mendix products not as an ecosystem, such as a development or manufacturing ecosystem, but as an ecosystem of ecosystems.

Mendix has created an ecosystem of 230,000 developers and more than 300 certified partners, who have created 120,000 applications in 2021. And its recently expanded partnership with AWS allows banking and insurance customers to use the applications Mendix to launch intelligent automation initiatives, streamline business processes, improve customer experience and accelerate innovation.

Turn the steering wheel

The more open and scalable an ecosystem is, the faster it will create a flying effect to attract more participants, enriching the diversity and power of the ecosystem. The holistic returns on investment that these systems offer include:

  • Partnerships that multiply business opportunities
  • Economies of scale that reduce capital and operating expenses
  • A faster and more sustainable digital transformation
  • Access to IT tools and techniques that enable innovation
  • Seamless integration of decarbonization into regular business processes
  • Addressing Talent Shortage Issues

Ecosystems offer huge opportunities to address business transformation in a sustainable way, and ambitious public-private partnerships around the world are already implementing them.

Smart cities are ecosystem cities

“Smart cities are a prime example of this,” says Peter Koerte, CTO and Chief Strategy Officer at Siemens. “No technology, company or city authority can rise to the challenge of creating one on its own, and that’s why we believe so strongly in working and co-creating across ecosystems. Tackling the duality of digital and sustainable transformations together leverages the exponential growth of data to enable the race to the bottom, net-zero, in sustainability.

Aspern Smart City in Vienna is a living laboratory, using the networks of technology partners Wien Energie, Wiener Netze and Siemens, and researching how smart energy systems and smart buildings work together in an urban district. Aspern’s buildings communicate with occupants, the Austrian smart grid, weather services and the energy market.

Siemens’ cloud-based Internet of Things solution, City Graph, connects a wide range of devices, using Microsoft Azure services that include machine learning and advanced analytics. City Graph can even create a digital twin of urban areas to allow city planners to model the relationship between spaces, devices and people. In doing so, it provides an open digital ecosystem for solution specialists to integrate and deliver sustainable value to metropolitan areas.

From ego-systems to ecosystems

Before the pandemic, some critics called ecosystems “ego systems” because of their inward focus. But companies looking to use the full range of expertise and resources available to solve problems must embrace total collaboration.

“We need to do more than just provide digital solutions,” says Koerte. “By establishing true open platforms and an ecosystem of customers, partners and cross-industry players, we can unlock the full potential of digital and sustainable transformation by adapting an open model of shared values. This means building trust, sharing resources and using common technologies. »

And trust is unthinkable without security. The more connected our world is, the greater the risk of cybercrime. An organization can only reap the full benefits of an open business ecosystem if it adequately protects that ecosystem from cyber threats. This is why ecosystems must be built with security from the start, and why digital systems and cybersecurity must evolve together.

No technology provider can master all the challenges of digital and sustainable transformation alone. Partnerships drive the digital business ecosystem logic. And the more diverse your partners are, the stronger your ecosystems become.


Read “Digital transformation in industrial companiesthe Siemens-sponsored report by Harvard Business Review–Analytic Services.

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