Dear Mr. Arzt, congratulations on your second place in the Best Paper Award of the Fraunhofer IMW. What is your paper about?
Thank you very much. The paper is about relevant aspects of business ecosystems for the realization of digital offerings. The term “ecosystem” has become very popular in the economic context in recent years. However, it often remains unclear what exactly it means. In the paper, I therefore systematically analyzed the scientific literature on ecosystems and worked out which different perspectives and descriptions exist.
Collaboration with other players in ecosystems is becoming increasingly relevant for companies in the course of data-driven value creation. In this context, it is particularly important to understand the nature of ecosystems around digital platforms. The goal of this paper was to gather and relate significant aspects from the literature to describe and shape these ecosystems in the context of digital offerings.
To this end, I created a morphological box* that depicts possible manifestations of authoritative elements of ecosystems in five dimensions. These dimensions include the context of the ecosystem, the relationships of the actors involved, the role of the company within the ecosystem, established governance mechanisms, and ecosystem dynamics. The morphological box is designed to help analyze and describe ecosystems and identify specific ecosystem types.
*A morphological box combines the different dimensions of an issue so that new solutions can be found.
How does it fit into the larger context of the Data Mining and Value Creation project or research area?
The paper fits into the relatively young research strand “Digital Servitization”, which investigates how companies use digital technologies to improve services or create entirely new digital offerings as a mixture of product, service and software elements. These include, for example, applications for increasing the performance and efficiency of machines and systems as well as service contracts with availability or performance guarantees in which corresponding data-driven solutions for optimizing service activities are embedded.
Such complex offerings cannot usually be realized on their own, but require the cooperation of various companies. Here, digital platforms play a significant role in sharing investments, data and skills (e.g. for software development and data analysis) and organizing joint value creation in ecosystems. In this context, ecosystems can have very different characteristics depending on the goal and actors involved.
The paper and the morphological box developed in it will be further used in the Data Mining and Value Creation project to investigate ecosystems in the context of data-driven value creation, to compare them with each other and to identify patterns. In other words, we want to investigate which correlations exist between the various characteristics of ecosystems in practice in order to derive recommendations for action for companies and policymakers.
Do you already have plans for how you want to use the prize money?
I would like to use the prize money to further my education in the area of research methodology or in the area of data-driven value creation innovations. I am currently looking for suitable offers.