How to Build a Business Ecosystem to Support Knowledge Management

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Several changes can be observed in the digital landscape over the past decade. Today we’re going to take a closer look at how the business ecosystem has evolved, as new advances in technology are paving the way for better knowledge management. And the way we share information is definitely one of the ways digital transformation has changed business, as stated by Forbes.

This buzzword that everybody is talking about, ‘digital revolution’ is slowly transforming into a digital evolution, as new advances in technology push businesses to adapt.

How did the business ecosystem change?

Business ecosystems have been around for quite some time, linking and latching on to different supply chain models, as well as new co-opetition structures. However, the biggest difference we can see nowadays is the way they are formed, as well as the nature of the ecosystem itself.

Companies act much faster to be able to bring products to market in months, not years, based on ecosystem dynamics. Also, a single competitive move can seriously alter the dynamics of an entire industry, even overnight, while influence-based dating is already replacing command-and-control dictatorships.

How to build an empowering business ecosystem

Enterprises should take advantage of previous progress by trying to leverage an existing ecosystem rather than building their own. They can use ecosystems to access new sales channels, provide new capabilities and customer interactions, create new products and services and last but not least manage knowledge more effectively.

1. Give your problems a voice

Whether you’re a marketing, software or automation company – all industries have problems. A good approach would be to see them as an opportunity to use innovation in order to solve them. However, to make these opportunities visible, you first need to give them a voice. One way to do so is by organizing either live or online meetups and inviting opinion leaders, academics and policy makers to speak at them.

2. Create an open collaborative environment

Look for an environment that is ecosystem-ready and get your company on board offline by preparing the organizational attitude and management you need, and then online bu choosing the appropriate collaborative tools and platforms. According to a study conducted by Gartner, one of the major differentiators of companies which are classified as top performers are the creation of and participation in a business ecosystem.

3. Think big and start small

One of the principles of Agile development says that you should secure support and approval internally, from the smallest possible number of leaders. Also, focus on developing a minimally viable ecosystem, so you can avoid the perception that your efforts can distract or interfere in day-to-day operations. Moving forward, keep this business ecosystem small until you gather enough evidence that this new way of working and collaborating is practicable.

4. Foster a culture of innovation

Truly collaborative environments support collaboration at every level of the business. Reframe thinking of businesses in terms of hierarchy and embrace the idea that all members of the business ecosystem you’re creating is a key player, able to influence the success of an enterprise.

This approach works best if you also consider offering creative incentive for innovation and take into consideration how all partners and suppliers work towards developing your business.

5. Invest in the right digital technology

Finally, strive to create a holistic ecosystem, which consists of a conglomerate of people, things, technology and even multiple businesses. When it comes to investing, focus on both core and emerging technologies to create your ecosystem’s DNA.

Whether we’re talking about cloud services, analytics, management, or security, all of them are essential to modernizing your technology core. Having an in-house knowledge management platform will also support the growth of your company, ensure effective collaboration among the members supporting the business ecosystem and other benefits.


Shifting existing mindsets and working in new, sometimes uncomfortable ways is never easy but needs to be embraced by the senior leaders of companies and spread throughout the enterprise all the way to frontline employees. Success in building a vibrant business ecosystem will be the difference between prospering and being marginalized in the current thriving digital economy.

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