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Concept of an ecosystem is a well known one. We don't exist as isolated units but are interdependently connected through cause-and-reaction type of interaction with others and our environment. Digital has and will emphasize further this interconnectedness. Some, should be familiar, yet often neglected in practice elementary grade knowledge of an ecosystem is perhaps worth repeating.
"Ecosystem, the complex of living organisms, their physical environment, and all their interrelationships in a particular unit of space." (Britannica)
"An ecosystem is a community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment (things like air, water and mineral soil), interacting as a system. .."(Wikipedia)
We don't exist as isolated units but are interdependently connected through cause-and-reaction type of interaction with others and our environment. Digital has not only amplified obviousness of these connections but in amplifying them has potential to transform them. Same logic applies to Brands, how they interact with their employees, customers, partners and broader society.
Ecosystem, Digital and Brands
Ecosystem view of life and business is both natural and fundamental one. Thus same view can be applied when looking at Brands - how they exist, how they are build, how they are maintained in minds of customer and how they evolve. There is no life without an ecosystem and life depends on the ecosystem. Same thing applies to Brands, Brands can only exist within a certain Ecosystem and more importantly Brands are themselves an Ecosystem. Ecosystem view of Brands will be increasingly important, if not fundamental when looking at Brands as organisations and entailing digital transformation.
Digital Ecosystem and Brands as organisations
"Digital lens scrutinising" of Brands internal organisation - how are they organised internally (as people, teams and units) and whether, which and how they use digital technologies (platforms, tools, software, hardware) to create new value is perhaps a first needed step in approaching digital transformation strategy and assessing the current state of an organisation. Digital transformation is a business transformation made possible by digital technologies that enhance or redefine how an organisation creates (new) value for customers. While it mostly happens in area not directly visible to customers, it's outcomes should be directly felt by customers and shareholders. If successful - outcome of digital transformation is increase corporate agility, efficiency and productivity gains, increased market share and in general positive, better then before, business and corporate performance metrics.
"Digital lens scrutinising" of Brands internal organisation is perhaps a first needed step in approaching digital transformation strategy and assessing the current state of an organisation.
Embarking on a road of digital transformation of Brands without an Digital Ecosystem view and Digital Ecosystem approach is doomed to failure. Why? Simple and fundamental reason is that there's is not a single technology - platform, tool, an application that enhances all business functions of a single company.
Thus, as an organisation and as a brand you will need to create your own internal digital ecosystem to help your organisation - people, teams, units create (new) value for customers.
Thinking in digital technology terms - this in effect will mean that your internal teams will and should have number of digital technologies, tools, platforms to help them create (new) value for customers. However, this is where (many of) challenges of digital transformation lie. First, making sure that, all of these technologies properly get implemented and get used by people within functions these individual technologies and tools were envisioned to enhance. And second, that all of them (platforms, tools, technologies) collectively do form a Digital Ecosystem in it's true sense - most importantly that they are process interconnected in such a way to create (new) customer value. Whether all of these platforms (and through them) organisational functions represented by and enhanced through digital technologies will in fact form a Brand's Digital Ecosystem is the challenge of our age. Remembering, that biological ecosystem is self sustainable, self advancing and self-adapting, gives a good guiding target.