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In today’s complex environment, innovation within public and private sector organisational models is a challenge. Core business models are not designed to encourage smooth engagement and collaboration between industry, government and commercial enterprises—that is, within an innovation ecosystem.

In Australia, the concept of innovation ecosystems is not new at all. Certain industries such as banking are well versed in creating such partnerships. And the idea of innovation ecosystems is emerging in other industries like insurance, utilities, energy and mining. What is new, however, is insight into the means of ‘smartly’ creating and realising value from innovation ecosystems.

This article explores eight recommendations for how to adopt best practices in ecosystem innovation.


Key findings

Many of the operating models and cultures of organisations within Australia are not designed for effective ecosystem participation. This creates a risk for these firms.

The opportunity is significant. Accenture estimates that if the Australian economy improved its digital density through an optimal combination of improvements in digital skills, capital and other enabling accelerators, such as supporting technologies, it could enjoy an even higher boost to GDP, adding an additional AU$44 billion to 2020 GDP. That equates to a 2.4 percent uplift to GDP beyond current forecasts.

From a public sector perspective, the digital government of tomorrow will include online ecosystems in each of the mission areas of government, such as education, health and social security. These ecosystems will not only connect the government agencies but also parties such as NGOs and Australian citizens.


From our research, there are eight mutually reinforcing practices that leading innovators adopt:

  1. Agree on a clear and specific focus.

  2. Lead with the customer experience.

  3. Establish an open culture.

  4. Encourage proximity to innovation.

  5. Protect your core intellectual property.

  6. Undertake due diligence on potential partners.

  7. Modify operating models for mutual success.

  8. Architect for change.

At the most fundamental level, the organisation must foster a culture that supports open innovation and backs it up with investment. It requires organisations to create arrangements involving a network of new business satellites with various players including industry, government, venture capitalists, early-and growth-stage start-ups, universities, corporate R&D groups and other companies that can accelerate overall organisational growth.

Learn more about Accenture Strategy

Who we are

Luca advises companies and governments on large-scale change initiatives that will lead to high performance, and guides them through the transformation process—from architecture to program development and delivery. With more than two decades of experience, he specializes in business strategy, operating models, digital transformation, growth and innovation, cost management, customer strategies and human capital management. Luca is based in Sydney.


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Marco leads the execution of large scale digital transformation and IT strategy projects. For over twenty years, Marco has worked with some of the largest corporate and government entities across Australia and New Zealand. During this time, Marco has developed a deep understanding of business strategy and the technology solutions that shape and deliver client value especially in financial services. Marco is based in Melbourne.

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Lee works with clients to develop IT strategies and enterprise architectures required for delivering large IT transformation projects. Leading various technology strategy teams, Lee has developed proficiencies in IT strategy, IT operating model, multi-speed IT, enterprise architecture, solution architecture and data migration. His work has spanned such industries as telecommunications, media and entertainment, mining and government. Lee is Sydney based.

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