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Business ecosystems fuelling fundamental transition: Deloitte

By Rob Starr,, Content Manager

Aptly titled, Deloitte’s latest Business Trends Report: Business Ecosystems Come of Age, underscores the fact that most aspects of the modern business are under continual pressure to evolve in an ever changing global network to survive, coexist and compete. Mike Canning, National Managing Director of Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Strategy & Operations practice, and Eamonn Kelly, Director and CMO of the practice, spoke to us about this changing landscape and the inherent implications.

Kelly started by telling us the language for these business ecosystems was introduced

Eamonn Kelly

Eamonn Kelly

twenty years ago by James F. Moore, a noted expert on change and leadership in

large-scale social, economic, and technical systems. Moore drew some parallels between natural ecosystems and how the animals therein live together and how the modern business world competes, adapts and works together in a similar fashion.

Longest Standing Trend

“Probably the longest standing trend in business is the migration from an industrial economy with self-contained corporations where an automobile company might feel the need to own the sandpit to make the glass for the windows and such,” Kelly explains. “That’s been changing for many decades. New ways of creating value have been developing in the form of richer networks of connection, collaboration, and interdependence.”

The result has been a movement away from companies being independent and highly contained to a much more networked template. The trend mirrored Moore’s notion that business should look less to the military or competitive sports or machines and more to biological ecosystems for recipes for success. The original idea got picked up in the technology sector and has grown beyond.

Self-Contained Corporations  

Canning concurs with his colleague and expands on this shift from self-contained corporations to the business ecosystems notion.

“In this fast-changing economy, the ecosystem concept has taken root far beyond the tech

Mike Canning

Mike Canning

sector and is now a crucial focal point for innovation, analysis and strategic planning,” he says. “New means of creating value have been developing everywhere in the form of interactive and fluid configurations of economic relationships and activity – and smart businesses around the world are responding.”

The blurring of boundaries for traditional industries is another offshoot from the acceleration of the business ecosystems notion and a longstanding trend pointing toward a much more dynamic and fluid economy.

Kelly elaborates with an example:

“Twenty-five years ago, the technology, media and telecoms industries were reasonably discreet and today they’re completely intertwined,” he said. “You’re seeing a move from the boundaries between products and services, so now you’re looking at solutions.”

According to the report, “The rise of business ecosystems is fundamentally altering the key success factors for leading organizations, forcing them to think and act very differently regarding their strategies, business models, leadership, core capabilities, value creation and capture systems, and organizational models.”

Read the full report here.












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