Sign In

Communications of the ACM

Technology strategy and management

Business Ecosystems: How Do They Matter for Innovation?

Business Ecosystems, illustration

Credit: Flexey and Toria

More and more people are living and working in business ecosystems. We read and talk about the entrepreneurial ecosystem, the e-commerce ecosystem, and the mobility ecosystem. But we do not know enough about the key characteristics of an ecosystem that make it innovative. For some, any cluster that involves multiple types of actors—entrepreneurs, investors, intermediaries such as incubators and accelerators—constitutes an ecosystem. For others, it is a biological metaphor that, when applied to manmade systems, is only partially useful.

Precise understanding of a business ecosystem would help startup entrepreneurs and incumbent businesses compete and collaborate more effectively. This column clarifies the concept in order to identify good use and misuse of the term "ecosystem." It also elaborates its utility when businesses formulate their strategy, and when policymakers wish to promote and regulate business ecosystems.


No entries found

Log in to Read the Full Article

Sign In

Sign in using your ACM Web Account username and password to access premium content if you are an ACM member, Communications subscriber or Digital Library subscriber.

Need Access?

Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features.

Create a Web Account

If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site.

Join the ACM

Become a member to take full advantage of ACM's outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits.

Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine

Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly.

Purchase the Article

Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.
Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account