A digital ecosystem is the unified environment that results from connecting all the platforms, technologies and services you use to conduct business and provide value to your customers. An effective digital ecosystem strategy can help you reduce operational costs, improve security posture, and deliver a superior product to your customers. In this blog, we’ll discuss these benefits in greater depth and provide examples of digital ecosystems that can transform your enterprise.
Benefits of Digital Ecosystems
First, it’s essential to acknowledge that not all digital ecosystems are organized, planned, and well-managed. It’s very common for organizations to grow their digital ecosystem organically as they buy, develop, and integrate new applications on an ad-hoc basis. However, to see the benefits described below, it’s important to take a more methodical approach to building a digital ecosystem. That requires:
- Identifying and mapping each component of the digital ecosystem and tracking the flow of data through all systems.
- Evaluating the effectiveness of each asset and prioritizing systems and services based on their value, sensitivity, and importance to your operation.
- Using third-party risk management to manage the inherent risk involved in working with third-party vendors, partners, and platforms.
One way to simplify this process is to work within a pre-existing ecosystem of products and platforms that provide all (or most) of the functionality you need. For example, Salesforce, Amazon, and Google have large suites of integrated technologies and services that work together near-seamlessly. This makes it easier to monitor, manage, and operate your digital ecosystem.
With a well-organized digital ecosystem, your enterprise can:
Reduce Operational Costs
Mapping your digital ecosystem will give you a complete view of your enterprise technology resources. This will allow you to identify and eliminate redundant or unused services. Plus, a well-organized digital ecosystem will prevent you from purchasing new solutions that provide functionality you already have, helping to reduce operational costs.
A robust digital ecosystem strategy gives security teams visibility into every application, service, and solution on your enterprise network. This will ensure they’re aware of all vulnerabilities and can apply the appropriate patches, defenses, and policies to protect them. In addition, a digital ecosystem map can help improve data governance and keep you compliant with data privacy regulations.
Deliver Superior Products
A digital ecosystem uses APIs to connect many different applications and features. This empowers you to deliver more functionality to your end-users without building everything yourself. As a result, your product will be more appealing to consumers and more competitive in the marketplace. In addition, your customers will be more likely to stick with your product because they can get everything in one place without needing to look elsewhere.
Examples of Digital Ecosystems
Healthcare providers often use digital ecosystems that give patients convenient access to appointment scheduling, test results, and prescriptions. These systems also help health professionals communicate (with each other and their patients), record crucial information, manage staff scheduling, and ensure compliance with HIPAA and related regulations. A well-managed digital ecosystem for healthcare improves patient experience and health outcomes while also boosting operational efficiency.
Another example of a digital ecosystem is an online banking app. These mobile platforms combine multiple in-house and/or third-party banking services to provide customers with a single, unified interface. For instance, in addition to allowing general account management, many banking apps also link to outside loan providers, credit cards, billing systems, and digital payment services like Venmo and CashApp. A digital ecosystem for online banking gives customers greater control over their finances and allows financial institutions to expand their partnerships and digital offerings.
Major players like Salesforce and Amazon provide large and diverse digital ecosystems of both in-house and third-party services. For instance, Salesforce has many interconnected products for customer relationship management, DevOps pipeline orchestration, and business analytics. Many organizations buy into these product families to simplify digital ecosystem management and ensure seamless integrations across various platforms and workflows.
Transform Your Enterprise Through Digital Ecosystems
There are endless possibilities beyond these three examples of digital ecosystems. The DevOps experts at Copado Strategic Services can help your enterprise build and wrangle a robust ecosystem of integrated digital technologies so you can increase efficiency, improve security, and deliver more value to your customers.