February 01, 2017
Ecosystem Power Plays—Accenture Tech Vision 2017
By: Gene Reznik

The digital ecosystem and digital platform decisions made today will frame the opportunities for future growth and extended value chains for tomorrow. Choose wisely.

Industry-blurring ecosystems, such as connected health, precision agriculture and connected transportation, are rapidly being built on digital platforms. And these are just the beginning. Accenture anticipates up to 450 new industry platforms will be created in the next few years, generating an unprecedented new wave of ecosystems.

How will your company choose which where to build, where to acquire and where to partner?

In the Ecosystem Power Plays: Beyond Platforms chapter of the Accenture Technology Vision 2017, we revisit a tech trend that’s been escalating for a few years. To recap: The platform revolution has redefined how businesses are run and services are delivered. These platforms are coalescing into new digital ecosystems, which are underpinned by a network of other companies: cloud providers, industry partners, open source platforms, startups and more. Participating in these ecosystems means, in part, that an enterprise’s future growth is interdependent on these companies. And the cycle has a ripple effect as new ecosystem models are introduced.

Companies must think strategically about their next generations of services. To create Technology for People, they must consider how the platform and ecosystem decisions made today will determine their future ability to help customers reach their goals, and thus help the company achieve its growth objectives.

Proactive stance on disruptive technology Click to tweet. This opens in a new window.

This approach requires new business strategies and business models. Intelligent enterprises must peer into the future of multiple ecosystems and determine where to make investments, connect platforms and form business relationships. Achieving this takes an innovation-led mindset:

  • A combination of research

  • An open innovation approach

  • Investment in growth-stage companies to shape emerging technologies

  • Alliances with the right mature technology partners.

Think of it as taking a leadership role in disruption.

Take self-driving vehicles, for example. This technology innovation will have the ripple-effect implications I described earlier. As these cars come to market, the automotive industry will start to overlap with the rental car industry, the logistics industry, the insurance industry and the public transit industry. Leaders must make calculated moves now across this emerging connected transportation ecosystem in order to remain competitive.

General Motors (GM) is taking a big-picture view with their $500 million investment in Lyft. The strategic decision supports the automaker’s Express Drive service, which provides new Lyft drivers who do not own a car with a GM rental. Moreover, it’s allowing GM to take a leading role in connected transportation and boosting the market for the company’s own self-driving vehicle advancements.

Internal ecosystem model Click to tweet. This opens in a new window.
Companies will need to consider ecosystems and platforms across all internal departments when they choose third-party providers, technology infrastructure vendors or security partners.

Will your marketing partner work seamlessly with your supply chain partner? Does your manufacturing partner use the same cloud services provider to simplify data exchange? Does the AI startup in which your company just invested determine the future of your front-end engagement to customers—and ultimately brand? These decisions affect future value chains as well.

More than ever, the digital partnerships companies make today have long-term implications for their future. Whether it’s accessing new customer touchpoints or building new markets with industry partnerships, the external platforms that companies rely on throughout their enterprise are becoming the gateways to new digital ecosystems—and the pillars of an evolution in their value chain.

In the digital revolution, how will your company participate in the platform economy
and foster the right ecosystems for your business goals? Click to tweet. This opens in a new window.

To learn more about this IT trend, I encourage you to read the Accenture Technology Vision 2017 overview and trend highlights. View the essential slide shares, videos and infographics. Share your thoughts at #techvision2017. And contact us to put these innovation-led ideas to work in your enterprise.

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