Via G Hill
MEDIA RELEASE : Businesses must understand ecosystems or risk failure, warn researchers
What businesses can learn from how major cities operate
A new study from the Cambridge Service Alliance urges businesses to understand the complex, interconnected ‘ecosystems’ they operate in if they want to survive and compete. If they don’t grasp the issue, the research team warns, they could be courting disaster.
Successful large-scale organisations, such as cities, are already ahead of the curve on this - recognising and adapting to their business ecosystem. So too, according to the Alliance, are corporate giants such as Google and Apple, who effectively co-ordinate efforts to achieve a common purpose, resulting in unprecedented levels of specialisation, scale and agility.
But, the researchers who conducted the study say, whether they realise it or not, all firms operate in one or more business ecosystems. Yet the phenomenon has remained poorly understood.
Professor Andy Neely, director of the Cambridge Service Alliance, says: “The fact is that many executives would struggle to describe the full complexity of the ecosystem they inhabit or the players within it. But by understanding those ecosystems and their role in them, companies can create an advantage - they can generate new opportunities and seize others that might otherwise have eluded them.”
Up to now, what is known about business ecosystems has been limited, Professor Neely explains, and it’s been difficult to draw meaningful conclusions for more complex sectors such as energy, utilities, healthcare and public services.
So the research team turned to the most complex ecosystems of all – the business ecosystems of cities. They examined three cities, Vienna, London and Chicago, chosen because of their reputation for success and innovation relating to quality of life and a thriving economy.
What they found was that while these ecosystems and the players within them were complex and diverse, in essence they boiled down to four role types - resource providers, problem solvers, constructors and architects.