Organizations increasingly need to collaborate across industries to pinpoint disruption sources and opportunities and determine how to keep reinventing themselves in an unforgiving world in which there is no time to rest on laurels. We are at the dawn of a hyperconnected economy where ecosystems driven by collaboration across multiple organizations with common objectives will generate new sources of value.
HFS, in partnership with TCS, surveyed 158 C-level executives globally who are already part of an ecosystem or plan to start or join one. This cross-industry global research initiative aims to understand enterprises’ attitudes and perspectives on the emergence of “hyperconnected ecosystems.” We also tested the survey findings through interviews and conversations with senior industry executives and academicians. Key findings include:
- Enterprises need to be connected to succeed. Respondents’ top reasons to invest in ecosystems include creating a positive brand perception, discovering new business models, and developing new products and services.
- Competitors can be friends with benefits, but it’s complicated. Creating the elusive “network effect ” requires big investments. Then there are regulatory and compliance issues and fear of the loss of proprietary information. A majority of enterprises cannot imagine collaborating with their competitors.
- Security, privacy, incentive alignment, technology backbone, and a collaborative mindset are the top five critical success factors to establish a successful ecosystem.
- The concept of “hyperconnected ecosystems” is relatively nascent today but poised for take-off in the next two to three years. Most ecosystems have fewer than 10 participants, and those are mostly within the same value chain or industry. Cross-industry collaboration with the inclusion of regulators or governing bodies is rare.
- Over 65% of enterprises participating in ecosystems are cautiously optimistic about their ecosystems’ potential success. Ecosystems focused on talent and skills, mobility, customer loyalty, health and wellness, supply chains, identity management, and clean air, food, and energy are likely to emerge first.
- The emergence of blockchains is starting to make the vision of hyperconnected enterprises with distributed and trustworthy information a reality. Some 95% of surveyed enterprises pursuing an ecosystem strategy are leveraging blockchain as the foundational technology.
- Nine out of 10 C-level respondents predict that the current global crisis intensifies businesses’ need to cooperate. Encouraging new forms of collaborative business models is not only good for business, it’s good for humanity to drive “profits with a purpose.”