Boston Consulting Group recently released “Adaptability: The New Competitive Advantage”, a white paper about the blurring of industries and constant need for recalibration strategies to meet changing market needs. It cited the desirability of a non-hierarchical corporate model with modular units that change depending upon the project.
What was most interesting, they highlighted a model that emulates an ecosystem of co-dependent companies. “Through broader signal detection, parallel innovation, superior flexibility and rapid mobilization, multi-company systems can enhance the adaptiveness of individual companies”. The example: Apple and its system of suppliers, telecom partnerships and independent application developers to support the iPhone. As Stephen Elop, Nokia’s CEO wrote to his staff, “Our competitors aren’t taking our market share with devices; they are taking our market share with an entire ecosystem.”
One to watch: Amazon. With its new Kindle Fire tablet, the company has created its own ecosystem, which is close on the heels and taking market share from Apple, giving the iPad its first serious competition. This means consumers are going to have to make a choice: Do they want to pick Amazon’s cloud, or Apple’s? First and foremost, Amazon’s tablet is far less expensive than the iPad. Second, Amazon now has its own ecosystem of hardware, software, cloud media storage and products (movies, music, books) along with the company’s many other services.