what is an open and digital ecosystem?

"An open and digital ecosystem refers to a dynamic and accessible network where diverse participants exchange and integrate technology, resources, and knowledge thereby fostering a collaborative value creation process that enhances value for customers."

Official definition translated from Gabler Economic Encyclopedia

1. Basic principle: In a business context, an open and digital ecosystem is based on the principles of open innovation and open data. Such an ecosystem always operates in a digital space, making physical barriers irrelevant. Accordingly, it requires a digital representation of the physical world. The digital transformation, in particular the digitalization, is essential for the creation and maintenance of this system.

2. Functionality: In an open and digital ecosystem, all participants pursue a common goal, whereby their actions are guided by a collective understanding of a shared value purpose, which revolves around a central value proposition. Coordination among participants is facilitated through a digital platform that provides the necessary infrastructure, standards, and interfaces for efficient collaboration. Value is generated through interaction with other participants in the ecosystem but also through exchanges with other ecosystems. These ecosystems are characterized by dynamic complexity, as they continuously evolve due to internal and external influences (interdependencies) and do not adhere to direct, linear cause-and-effect relationships.

3. Evolution: When industries and technologies intersect and integrate, an open and digital ecosystem can act as a catalyst to optimize alignment with customer needs. Convergence, observed in scientific disciplines like mathematics and physics, as well as in technology, also manifests when products and services from various sectors merge into a unified offering. Open interfaces (openAPI's) play a crucial role in facilitating the flow of goods, information, and finances, enabling fragmented service provision by diverse entities across different sectors.

Springer Gabler Economic Encyclopedia, 10 January 2024

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