Conduct an internal ecosystem assessment and explore the art of the possible
The initial step involves creating transparency within the organization about the current position of the company — generally, at the starting point of change. The company conducts an internal assessment and explores the art of the possible of a more successful digital future. Leaders look at market developments, competitor moves, customer expectations, evolving ecosystems, regulatory changes, and technological advances. The aim is to initially determine the state of the company’s value proposition to customers, its operational capabilities, its technology capabilities, and the skills of its people. The company’s shortcomings must be analyzed, as well as its track record in meeting growth and performance objectives.
Define an ecosystem vision and value proposition
Based on the analysis conducted during step 1, the leaders of the company generate an ecosystem vision, which embodies the organization’s aspirations. In this step, companies decide where to position products and services, which value propositions to offer to consumers, and how to offer these individualized solutions through multichannel customer interactions.
Develop an integrated ecosystem concept and strategic partnership model
In this step the company leaders design an ecosystem concept that spans all four ecosystem layers. First, the company focuses on the Customer Solutions ecosystem, identifying the best potential partners, whether to make or buy new capabilities, which capabilities are available internally, and which capabilities need to be developed through partnerships and other arrangements. With these choices made, the Operations ecosystem can be created to meet the associated requirements. Then, the Technology and People ecosystems can be built to enable the first two ecosystems.
Set up an ecosystem governance, investment, and decision board
Before starting the iterative design and implementation of the ecosystems, create clear “ecosystem governance” processes that steer the design and implementation efforts. These governance procedures, which are the responsibility of top management to supervise and carry out, should cover setting priorities and key milestones, reviewing and approving design and implementation outcomes, and making investment decisions.
Build ecosystem capabilities with iterative design and implementation
Using the clear definition of the organization’s goals and ecosystem design as a blueprint, the organization creates each ecosystem to serve solely as a conduit for achieving these goals. This primarily involves two activities.
The first is iterative design and implementation of ecosystem capabilities done in sprints. These rapid, fluid, project-based team efforts are dissolved when no longer needed, and are the main efforts that build the future Customer Solutions, Operations, Technology, and People ecosystems.
The second key activity is converging after each sprint to integrate the results of the Customer Solutions, Operations, Technology, and People ecosystems to support seamless integration.
Harvest the value of full ecosystem integration and reinvest it in continued expansion
With the four ecosystems in place, the organization implements its strategic imperatives to fully take advantage of the new value chain. The leaders monitor the new practices and processes, ensuring that digitization continues to drive improvements and efficiencies in each ecosystem and that external partnerships integrate smoothly with internal capabilities, functions, and efforts to deliver enhanced customer value. As the ecosystems evolve, the company should continue to mature by reinvesting in continued growth of the four ecosystems model, in the process moving closer to becoming a Digital Champion or strengthening its position as a Digital Champion.