In brief

In brief

  • Accenture Strategy research uncovers what ecosystem masters are getting right.
  • Data is key. Ecosystem masters integrate their data with others in the ecosystem.
  • Ecosystem masters pool talent to tap into a deeper, broader range of resources.
  • Masters collaborate with partners to create the platform as a launch pad for ecosystem value.

Three things ecosystem masters get right: Discover what it takes to lead disruption

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Capturing the ecosystem opportunity

Companies recognize the need to implement new business models to address, or even lead disruption. According to Accenture Strategy research, 60 percent of executives say ecosystems are the way to do it.

Businesses can use ecosystems to make strong market plays that drive disruptive growth. The opportunity is staggering.

Ecosystems could unlock $100 trillion of value for business and wider society over the next 10 years.

However, few businesses have fully capitalized on the opportunity, claiming the role of “ecosystem master.”

Many ecosystems currently don’t live up to their potential. A third of U.S executive respondents target revenue growth of 5 percent or more with their ecosystem plays. Only one in seven achieve this growth.

What are the three things ecosystem masters are getting right?

1. Data Collaboration—Masters see a win, not a weakness

Ecosystem masters have figured out how to best share data with their partners. Non-masters, on the other hand, tend to share too little. Ecosystem masters do a better job of integrating with others in the ecosystem—marrying and expanding their data set with partners to enhance analytics and achieve better insights. Virtually all masters (97 percent) describe themselves as data-driven companies.

Ecosystem masters have a comprehensive data strategy and management plan. A vast number of masters (77 percent) share data with some restrictions within the ecosystem. More control means less risk.


Masters who describe themselves as data-driven companies.


Masters who share data with some restrictions within the ecosystem.

2. Talent Pooling—Masters tap into a deeper, broader range of resources

Masters pull the “best of” the ecosystem, tapping into talent pools within and outside of the enterprise to access complementary skills and capabilities. They look to combine and grow talent across organizations when building their ecosystem.

When the ecosystem shares talent, it speeds access to experience and differentiated capabilities. Talent sharing also opens the door to a deeper and wider talent pool that brings a level of hyper-diversity. Workers from different backgrounds and companies, with a variety of skills, can work together on achieving outcomes. Ecosystem masters are also willing to lift and shift talent to other organizations within the ecosystem. Businesses benefit as employees learn new methodologies or skills and then bring them back to their company.


Masters who combine talent across organizations when building their ecosystem.


Non-masters who combine talent across organizations when building their ecosystem.

3. Platform Co-development—Masters build a launch pad for value

Platforms are the lifeblood that enables ecosystem partnerships to easily collaborate and thrive—and they cannot be created alone. Successful platforms start with a smart foundation to build partner interest and investment, accelerating adoption and expansion.

Ecosystems masters (64 percent) recognize the importance of choosing the right technology platform to support the ecosystem, compared to 36 percent of non-masters. Masters also look for a technology partner that is going to be a collaborative player in creating the platform.

Joint development of a platform requires an open, collaborative mindset among all participants. The platform should meet the needs of the collective entity. Trust, comfort, commitment and confidence are essential ingredients to creating a mutually beneficial platform.


Masters who recognize the importance of choosing the right technology platform.


Non-masters who recognize the importance of choosing the right technology platform.

Master the ecosystem culture

The most successful in the ecosystem are those companies who embrace an ecosystem culture. Only then are they able to manage strategic, systematic and programmatic collaboration across the key capabilities that enable an ecosystem—data sharing, talent pooling and building the platform.

Learn from the ecosystem masters and pursue bolder approaches to seizing the ecosystem opportunity:

Adopt the mindset

Embrace the notion of collaboration. Most masters (77 percent) are open to partnering broadly in a variety of areas

Lead from the top

Garner commitment from senior leaders who will commit time and resources to building a successful ecosystem. Clearly define a role for leading the ecosystem—62 percent of masters have the CEO responsible for the ecosystem strategy

See beyond four walls

Sharing equals succeeding. More than half of masters (61 percent) are consistently looking across the value chain for opportunities to collaborate because they understand the value at stake

View All

Ecosystems are here to stay. There are masters seizing the opportunity, and non-masters who are missing out on the full potential of ecosystems. Which will you be?

About the Authors

Olivier Jankelovics

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Communications, Media and Technology

Caitlyn Truong

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Financial Services

Ariel Junqueira

Senior Manager – Accenture Strategy, Banking

Danielle Kuchinskas

Senior Manager – Accenture Strategy, Financial Services


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