Strategic Ecosystem Flexibility Design and Empowered Digital Business Design

Strategic Ecosystem Flexibility Design and Empowered Digital Business Design

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1550-1.ch005


To achieve a productive and sustainable high-value delivery, the issue of flexibility needs to be addressed so that the value ecosystem can cope with the uncertainty of potential internal or external changes; such changes might affect whether the value delivery is in a timely and cost-effective manner. This chapter focuses on how to flexibly configure talents, resources, organizations, and technologies (i.e., operants) toward a productive and sustainable way of delivering high-value by leveraging digital technologies. This leveraging for strategic ecosystem flexibility is two-fold. First, digital operants need to be created to serve as ecosystem actors and perform value exchanges. Second, strategic business choices need to be made so that digital solution architecture choices and additional digital operants can dynamically engage and empower actors in value co-creation. Furthermore, this also demonstrates the third dimension of the business reinvention methodology, which is about digital business strategies for ecosystem flexibility and business sustainability.
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Foundational Theories And Basic Concepts

This section briefly discusses the concepts of digital business and empowerment. Digital business means leveraging digital technologies to transform the customer value and drive competitive advantage through the value co-creation of a value ecosystem, in which a focal B needs to engage and empower stakeholders (including customers).

Digital technologies are substantially reshaping traditional business strategies. Bharadwaj et al. (2013) defined digital business strategy as the business strategy formulated by leveraging a variety of digital resources to create customer differential value. This definition goes beyond the conventional practical aspect of IT strategy or information systems and technologies by stressing the measurements other than effectiveness and efficiency; however, the customer value aspect drives competitive advantage and strategic differentiation.

However, the customer differential value is a function of customer choice (Keen & Williams, 2013). For instance, it is the customers rather than the web that undermines the newspaper industry since the customers prefer web-based content as opposed to print-based content. In other words, the customer-centric value is increasingly moving from concentrating on the features of products and services and is instead moving toward a system that provides the customer with a more desirable experience. In addition, Keen and Williams (2013) emphasized that successful digital businesses must empower the development of such innovation in a steady progression given that value will move, rather than detect a new opening and build the value without supposing the same value would hold. This is because the dominance of value is more and more customer-centric, meaning that fewer businesses are dictated by industry boundary, resource advantage, R&D capability, and so on.

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