03 Jul

Only a quarter of business leaders globally very confident they will achieve their 2020 growth targets

Ecosystems Capability Index. Accenture

With only a quarter of business leaders globally very confident they will achieve their 2020 growth targets, and 56 percent concerned that current growth strategies are at high risk of disruption, a new strategic approach is critical to enabling business success. New research from Accenture (NYSE: ACN) finds that 84 percent of business leaders globally agree that building ecosystems –joining forces with other companies to share data, customers, technology and industry knowledge – is critical to their strategy.

The ‘Cornerstone of Future Growth: Ecosystems’ study by Accenture Strategy surveyed over 1,250 business leaders from different industries around the world to understand how companies are creating competitive advantage through agile business models. The study found that companies operating in Telecoms, Banking and Utilities have the strongest capabilities today to capitalize on the ecosystems opportunity.

“In today’s competitive market, companies can no longer create sustainable growth by going it alone. They need the help of partners to form ecosystems to innovate and create new customer propositions, expand their customer base and enter new markets,” said Michael Lyman, senior managing director, Accenture Strategy. “The beauty of ecosystems is that no single company owns or operates all components of the solution, making the value generated much larger than the combined value each of the players contributes individually, and the risk is distributed equally.”

Ecosystems igniting growth

Enabled by digital platforms, ecosystems could unlock $100 trillion of value for business and society over the next decade. To capitalize on the opportunity, the research suggests companies are forming ecosystems to make major innovation plays (63 percent), increase revenue growth (58 percent), access new markets (55 percent) and gain new customers (55 percent). Today, nearly half (46 percent) of business leaders are actively seeking partners, and another 77 percent believe their organization will generate more than half of its revenues from ecosystems in the next five years.

“Due to increasing market pressure, we’re likely to see more companies – particularly those that have traditionally been competitors – join forces as they look to create new growth and achieve competitive agility. ‘Coopetition’ will continue to grow and exciting partnerships will form as a result, some of which have already remade markets and industries around the world,” said Oliver Wright, managing director, Accenture Strategy. “Customers will benefit from the new products and services that will be created, and organizations will pursue new business models to capitalize on market shifts.”

Adapting to change

Business leaders say that some of the biggest challenges they experience when building ecosystems include getting comfortable with ceding control – 44 percent are concerned about sharing company assets and secrets with other organizations – and over a third (37 percent) say it’s challenging to balance the responsibilities of the current business while exploring the new.

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