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What is a digital ecosystem?

Informed by knowledge of natural ecosystems, a digital ecosystem is an adaptive, scalable, fluid system that uses feedback and technology to improve. A digital ecosystem is comprised of people, processes, and technology. With a digital ecosystem, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. All pieces of the ecosystem work together to create the ecosystem in its totality. Each piece of the digital ecosystem serves a purpose. In addition, each piece serves to amplify the previous piece, with the goal of achieving peak amplification of your business through an optimal blend of ecosystem components. The adaptive nature of a digital ecosystem allow its components to shift in response with the changing needs of a business.

Why does a company need a digital ecosystem to execute its digital strategy?

A digital ecosystem provides a framework for building a digital business and accomplishing a business’ digital objectives. Once a digital ecosystem is established, a digital strategy can be embedded into the ecosystem. A digital strategy provides a roadmap for companies to follow to narrow the gap between where they are now and their digital vision. Digital ecosystems allow companies to better execute their digital strategies by allowing companies to change with the market in almost real time. The agility that digital ecosystems provide to digital strategies is critical to the resiliency and long-term health of companies. 

6 Elements of a Digital Ecosystem

The six elements of Sidepart’s Digital Ecosystem comprise the foundation of a digital company.

1. Website

Your website is the the cornerstone of your digital strategy. It’s where customers learn about your brand and value proposition, and one of the key places to distinguish yourself from competitors. Driving traffic to your website also allows you to track potential customers and understand how they’re engaging with your brand.

2. SEO 

Search engine optimization (SEO) encompasses how your customers discover your brand online through organic search. By using SEO tactics, you can drive more traffic to your website. Why is SEO important? When someone conducts an online search, the search engine attempts to return a list of websites that are relevant to that individual’s search. By optimizing your website and content, you have a higher likelihood to be seen as relevant by the search engines. Websites listed on the first page on Google generate roughly 92% of traffic from an average search with 75% of clicks go to the top 5 websites (Search Engine Journal).

3. Automation 

Automation refers to both the software and processes that allow you to automate activities, workflows, and communications. The increased efficiency in your day-to-day operations through automation reduces labour hours and allows you to focus on your core competencies. With automation, you can scale and amplify your digital initiatives, driving lead generation and boosting sales. Automation is also a layered process. Once you automate certain well-defined processes, a business can use that feedback loop to continue improving process efficiency over time. There are some general process automations that most businesses can use effectively. However, automation is often unique to each business and will evolve over time.

4. Analytics 

Analytics is a broad term that involves measurement and reporting. Invoking an analytics solution early-on is important to be able to measure effectiveness and establish baseline values within your business. By harnessing the power of analytics, you can transform raw data into actionable insights to enable better decision making. Moreover, having a strategy around analytics allows you to monitor changes over time and adjust more quickly to the changing needs of your customers.

5. Content

Content is defined as information or experiences that are directed towards an end user or audience. A successful content strategy bridges the gap between what your customer is asking for and how your business solves their problem or answers their question. In addition, an effective content strategy is one that is relevant to your target audience and positions your brand as a leader in the space. Once you’ve created relevant pieces of content, promote your content through channels most frequently used by your audience.

6. Strategy 

Strategy involves combining the right blend of technology, processes, and people to grow your business sustainably. This is a key component for business transformation, providing a concrete roadmap for how changes will be deployed to support a company’s goals. Strategy is also a dynamic concept – it’s based on the best possible information at any given moment. The best strategy is one that is flexible and can adapt quickly to changes in the marketplace.

 

Emma Guimaraes

Author Emma Guimaraes

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