From system integration (SI) to ecosystem integration (EI)
Platforms like EY Nexus demonstrate the advantages of ecosystem integration, which can be viewed as the next evolution of system integration. It’s a necessary shift, given the sprawl and complexity of today’s value chains and the pressure to transform. Traditional SI approaches don’t enable the quick, bold and holistic change many companies are looking for.
With platforms for ecosystem integration, firms can get the tech they need, without undertaking time consuming and capitally intensive software development projects. Plus, they can make changes to back-end systems without disrupting front-end interfaces or customer experiences. All this is possible because ecosystem platforms are designed to simplify a great deal of technical complexity, such as establishing application programming interfaces and managing security protocols.
Working with ecosystem integrators is an order of magnitude simpler and faster for companies than trying to develop ecosystems on their own. The cost and complexity of setting up an ecosystem management function I mentioned above, plus scanning hundreds of prospective capability providers, building an end-to-end service catalogue informed by a mature value chain model, managing brand and reputation risk, managing the operation risk and managing evolving security and compliance regimes is a significant hurdle that many companies will struggle to overcome.
Ecosystem integration offers a shorter path to optimize the entire value chain, rather than making incremental or piecemeal improvements. More predictable and flexible cost structures, based on pay-per-use consumption models, are yet another benefit.
At EY, we have seen first-hand how ecosystem relationships provide breakthrough value to a wide range of companies, including our own firm. In discussions with C-level professionals and business leaders worldwide, we have seen clear and broad consensus that ecosystems must be a core component of business strategy. Beyond these client experiences, our market research tells us that more companies are leaning into ecosystems and that they are generating tangible value from their ecosystem relationships.
Companies across sectors, no matter their size or current market position, recognize that ecosystems are essential to success. Today’s question is how to successfully incorporate ecosystem relationships across business strategies. Looking ahead, we believe strong integration will be a hallmark of the most dominant ecosystems, and the future looks bright for those willing to take the first steps toward a working world shaped by collaboration.