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Types of digital ecosystems

There are three main types of digital ecosystems: the digitizer ecosystem, the platform ecosystem and the super platform ecosystem.

Digitizer ecosystems focus on digitizing an existing product with the help of business partners, while also maintaining low managerial complexity. Digitizer ecosystems can add new functionality to systems and create digital service revenue. This ecosystem usually incorporates 20 to 100 existing partners across five industries.

The digitizer ecosystem is best suited for businesses with strong product capabilities, limited digital abilities and a primarily internal focus. It works well for organizations looking to make their established product smart and connected. An example of a digitizer ecosystem is an automotive manufacturer that partners in order to obtain the technology and intellectual property (IP) needed to connect their cars with related digital services.

What is a digital ecosystem?

Platform ecosystems are more advanced than digitizer ecosystems. They focus on flawlessly connecting users and smart devices on a platform, while simultaneously guaranteeing high service levels and limited obstacles. The platform ecosystem creates revenue streams from platform usage. The data generated The platform ecosystem works best with companies that have solid digital capabilities and a strong focus on external expertise. Established tech startups and companies are more likely to adapt this platform as their core business model than nontech companies. An example of a platform ecosystem is Xiaomi, a Chinese electronics company that makes and invests in a variety of product types, including smartphones, laptops, fitness brands and mobile apps. Xiaomi works closely with its contributors — the device makers — to provide a smart home platform, equipped with a variety of smart, connected devices.

Super platform ecosystems are the most complex type of digital ecosystem. They focus on integrating several platforms into one integrated service, while also capturing user data from the integrated platform. This type of ecosystem provides a wide range of user data and also turns the data into money using adjacent business models. The super platform ecosystem typically has at least 10 million partners across at least 10 different industries.

Super platform ecosystems are best suited to companies that possess advanced digital abilities and an established platform from the start, as well as a willingness to work with external partners. As a result, this ecosystem is preferred Many companies find the best results by using more than one type of ecosystem at a time. For example, Amazon Alexa uses all three. The digitizer ecosystem improves the smart speaker’s hardware and voice recognition functionality; a platform ecosystem exists for adding skills and applications that are used to increase the services offered by Alexa; and a super platform ecosystem is used to integrate all other platforms.

 

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