A maturing software market with finite resources drives intense competition to design solutions for an increasing number of ever-narrowing market segments, industry verticals, and process categories. Partner ecosystems are essential for enterprise software vendors to extend a vendor’s product portfolio, fill white space in solution road maps, and augment and expand the execution team. These ecosystems increasingly specialize and rely on the intellectual property (IP) Innovation Networks of partners, suppliers, Financiers, Inventors, Transformers, and Brokers. As software vendors and system integrators expand into new markets, they will form solutions-centric ecosystems to enable exclusive, complementary, and “co-opetive” relationships. Technology strategy professionals must determine how to thrive in this era of solutions-centric ecosystems.
INTENSE COMPETITION DRIVES DEMAND FOR SOLUTIONS-CENTRIC ECOSYSTEMS
Vendors must increasingly rely on their partner ecosystems as development resource constraints and numerous microvertical requirements outpace internal efforts to rapidly bring solutions to a wide variety of stakeholders. Partners emerge as critical foot soldiers with a mission to capture client mindshare and address the market need for new solutions. Increased competition in new markets will drive the enterprise software market into a war of ecosystems, and four disruptive forces will compel vendors to transform their existing ecosystems from traditional and transitional ecosystems into solutions-centric ecosystems that exemplify Digital Business Networks (DBNs)
Market consolidation drives economies of scale as an industry matures.
Similar to the automobile industry in the past two decades, enterprise software vendors face waves of consolidation, innovation, and maturation. The power of Innovation Networks and ecosystems often emerge post-consolidation. For example, the auto majors — General Motors, Toyota Motor, Ford Motor, DaimlerChrysler, Nissan — have built ecosystems around their vehicle platforms. As the nexus of the ecosystem, each platform includes the power train (engine, transmission), the structural frame, common components, and standardized electrical integration points.
Working closely with partners, specialized auto suppliers design various systems from seating, interiors, instrument panels, and specific localization preferences around these platforms.