Monthly Archives: June 2011

Digital ecosystems: A framework for online business

The digital world has gotten complicated. Really complicated.

Between web sites, smartphone and desktop applications, and a menagerie of social media platforms and services, it’s hard for many businesses to sort out where to focus their efforts. Thinking about all of these elements as part of a broader digital ecosystem can bring some clarity.

The term digital ecosystems has been used (and abused) by others previously (see NOTE at the end of this article), but I have never found any previous definitions sufficiently tangible. Most are technical, abstract, or abstruse; they’re just not that useful for real businesses trying to develop digital strategies and execute online.

In an effort to simplify, I propose the following definition for digital ecosystems (see diagram below):

The digital ecosystem of a business is the combination of all relevant digital touchpoints, the people that interact with them, and the business processes and technology environment that support both.

The digital ecosystem for a business is a mix of touchpoints, people, and supporting elements.

Read on for more detail about why I believe it’s important to think in terms of systems, the relevant elements of digital ecosystems for business, and the critical role that people play in these systems. Continue reading

Posted in Web stuff | 4 Comments