An ecosystem platform can propel mid-sized enterprises. Source: Shutterstock

The ecosystem platform revolution is here — new study

MID-SIZED enterprises are striving for digital transformation this year and are aiming for growth. However, achieving either is a bit of a challenge because there are just too many new technologies and it’s a confusing technological landscape out there.

According to Gartner’s findings, 57 percent of mid-sized enterprises are not yet delivering digital initiatives.

“Digitalisation has the benefit of expanding mid-sized enterprises’ market horizons — a critical success factor for an organization of this size,” said Luis Anavitarte, Research Vice President at Gartner.

“As part of an overarching digital business technology platform, micro-sized enterprises should build an ecosystem platform to strengthen their competitiveness and enable sustainable business growth,” added Anavitarte.

Digital business is built on five different kinds of technology platforms — the ecosystem, customer experience, data and analytics, information system, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Although each of these platforms is extremely important, businesses need to recognize that each can be built incrementally. You don’t need to invest in all, all at the same time.

“By focusing on the ecosystem platform, you can build your digital business technology platforms over time as your digital business expands — and may even find that they are not all needed,” explained Anavitarte.

To begin, micro-sized enterprises should understand the organization’s strategic thinking so that their platform is aligned to the over-arching goals of the business.

According to Gartner, doing so also helps employees share best practices across business units, leverage competencies including operational and strategic innovation, achieve rapid prototyping, bring new business capabilities to market more quickly, and coordinate the business ecosystem.

Plan and execute on the ecosystem platform

An ecosystem platform is a collaborative architecture that enables internal and/or external business ecosystem partners to work together in new ways.

With effective resource management, planning and executing on an ecosystem platform at the scale of the organisation will be an effective step for mid-sized enterprises in their digital transformation and business growth efforts.

“The ecosystem platform offers mid-sized enterprises a swift entrance into digital and digital deliveries, with the potential for short-term positive impact on the business because it innovates, creates new business models, and sparks business moments,” added Anavitarte.

APIs will play a critical role in the ecosystem platform evolution

An ecosystem platform will support the creation of and connection to external ecosystems, marketplaces and communities, through application programming interfaces (APIs).

APIs connect people, businesses, and things, which enables market access by making mid-sized enterprise systems available. In essence, APIs make digital business — and digital society as a whole — work. They enable new digital products and business models for services, and create new business channels.