Ecosystems: a question of architecture or technology?

In the economy, ecosystems are created almost overnight, whereas nature takes its time for centuries.

What is important for ecosystems? How do architecture and technology play in these Hype into it? Dr. Reto Kohlas, partner at ipt and expert in ecosystems, and Otto Bitterli, owners of bi-digital GmbH, show in the C-Level-Magazin, which role architecture and play the technology.

Ecosystems: Where do we stand today?

The digital possibilities are blurring the boundaries between industries. That is quite in
Interest of the customer, because it makes his life easier. At the same time you fight in the
companies still with and against silos.

  • Professionals from multiple companies work together in an ecosystem to
    customer journey and MVP (Minimum Viable Product) to determine the future
    to understand the needs of the customer. Whereby it would be technologically possible
    customer designs this himself.
  • To be prepared for the future, the world of Big Data, companies are building
    Data Lakes, while they do not know the simple analytical algorithms themselves.
  • Instead of effectively knowing and understanding the other companies, it is often
    only agreed on responsibilities at management level.
  • In some companies, IT is still only used as a cost center for
    perceived. This is also due to the fact that IT behaves in the same way.
«Ecosystems can only be realized with the right technological conditions!»
Reto Kohlas | Otto Bitterli ipt Partner | bidigital GmbH Owner

How can technology support the realization of ecosystems?

Technology has always been the growth driver, from industrialization to digitalization. Two approaches that create clarity:


1. More intensive communication requires a corresponding integration

Frictionless technical communication and an immediate conversion into the language of the other is an indispensable prerequisite, as Kohlas and Bitteli point out. The solution is called integration, which is fast, agile and decoupled from central integration teams. Such as API and event streaming platforms with high self-service content.

2. Clouds, the factual ecosystems of the future

Google, Microsoft and Co. will provide algorithms and logics (services) that can be used to link different industries. «The cloud ultimately improves a company's ability to integrate by simplifying existing processes,» the two ecosystem experts note.

However, if not only the algorithms but also the offerings shift into the ecosystem, there is a danger that the large tech companies will appropriate the new business areas themselves.

IT must create the necessary conditions for ecosystems

Back to the initial question: Are ecosystems a question of architecture or technology? They are both.

To be part of an ecosystem, you need the appropriate technological prerequisites. Cloud capabilities should also be improved by gaining experience with public clouds and by setting clear rules for their use in the form of cloud rules.

It is worth looking at the IT architecture from a strategic and future-oriented perspective. At the same time, the technological focus on the ecosystem puts responsibilities and political issues in the background, thus enabling a value-neutral target picture.

The complete article by our partner Dr. Reto Kohlas and the owner of bi-digital GmbH Otto Bitterli is now available in the C-Level magazine 9|2020.