In my last posts, I outlined how platforms are becoming the central hubs for the digital ecosystems that will greatly impact a company’s future. In this final post, I will wrap up the series with some conclusions and predictions based on our Technology Vision 2017 survey of 5,400 business and IT executives.


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.

It’s time to look beyond the short-term gains of tactical vendor and partner relationships and consider them in the context of the larger opportunities—and challenges—for your company’s future.

The race is on, as companies across industries begin to forge the relationships that will drive their next waves of unprecedented growth. An explosion of collaborative ventures between industry leaders is on the horizon, and the success of these endeavors is what determines who will lead new digital markets, and who gets left behind.

Every company needs an ecosystem strategy to move forward, one that prepares them for a future where they are not involved in just a single ecosystem, but many. How your company selects and fosters the right ecosystems for your business goals will define prospects for the future: competitive advantage depends on the strength of the partners and ecosystems you choose and your plans to help them grow.

Ultimately, ecosystems are redefining how companies do business, and your company would be wise to start forging these relationships today.


In our Technology Vision 2017, we make the following predictions with regard to digital ecosystems:

  1. In five years, the majority of customers will be purchasing goods or services through a digital ‘middle man’—such as messaging platforms, connected devices, or smart assistants.
  2. Five years from now, 80 percent of the S&P 500 will be engaged in multiple industry ecosystems, and most will have made public statements about increasing their reliance on ecosystems for future revenue growth.
  3. In seven years’ time, an industry leader from today will have transformed into an ecosystem company spanning multiple markets. The enterprise will lie at the center of a disruptive ecosystem, holding no physical headquarters and few permanent staff. Their highest-valued asset will be a digital platform.

For more information on this and other trends, take a look at our Technology Vision 2017 page.

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