In the ecosystem era all is going faster. Every morning a company must face a new threat or gets new opportunities. If you are a software product company you’ld be probably facing rising commoditization risks due to open source and SaaS arising. In the meanwhile open source and Cloud platforms are giving you new opportunities: creating new solutions requires sensibly less effort and investments.
If you are a consumer-electronics/appliance manufacturer your bill of material is lowering (thanks to open source software: think to VoIP systems, netbooks or smartphones) while your final price point should lower as well due to a rising number of competitors gaining quality from the same community assets you’re exploiting.
If you are a big end user company, service provider, government agency using IT as asupport function for your business you have a big opportunity to lower your OPEX thanks to SOA and outsourcing. Furthermore, thanks to globalization, your requirements are common to thousands of other clients and you’ll probably find a consisting answer in both commercial and community open source software. You only need to face a couple of challenges . First of all, you must be able to identify the requirements (in line with your business needs) to invest your money on. Furthermore you need to learn how to evaluate your supplier since, if you do it, you’ll be able to outsource part of your business process and focus on the core phases.
If you’re an ISV, a System Integrator or a Consulting/Outsourcing company you are probably going to meet the most significant amount of opportunities.
The point is: are you ready to exploit such opportunities?
Few radical changes are required to align the company with the emerging trends, we can try to list some:
- new skills to be acquired: learn how to manage intellectual property when crowdsourcing content from the community. I mean managing opensource licenses (understand what you can and should do) or creative commons statements and copyleft.
- create your own ecosystem and find a place in the existing ones: when you approach a business or embrace a technology keep in mind participation and sharing. Consolidate and manage your partnerships and create others since they represent a potential business source. Certify your skills since this contibutes to subsidy your solution providers, differentiates your offering and, at the end, shorten your Time To Market
- evangelize innovation internally: open source, SOA, EaaS should become more common in your company. Adopt such solution internally.
In conclusion, now that we’re in the ecosystem era:
It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle.
When the sun comes up, you better start running.
It’s a matter of ideas, pragmatism and clear objectives. At the end, is management.