Article | Optimize | February 2005

Managing the Ecosystem

by Marco Iansiti


The days of the corporate lone wolf are over. In our increasingly interconnected world, standing alone is no longer a viable business model. Instead, smart companies rely heavily on networks of partners, suppliers, and customers to achieve market success and sustain performance. These networks look increasingly like a biological ecosystem, in which companies succeed and fail as a collective whole. They operate in a business environment of shared fates and business models, and see their ecosystems as helping them become more resilient to market changes and more responsive to customer needs. Business ecosystems are widespread within industries such as banking, biotechnology, insurance, and software. As with biological systems, the boundaries of a business ecosystem are fluid and sometimes difficult to define. Ecosystems traverse industries and encompass the full range of organizations that influence the value of a product or service.

Keywords: Integrated Corporate Reporting; Partners and Partnerships; Industry Clusters; Customers; Markets; Situation or Environment; Banks and Banking; Insurance; Software;


Iansiti, Marco. "Managing the Ecosystem." Optimize 4, no. 2 (February 2005).