Digital Ecosystems

Digital ecosystems are fundamentally changing how businesses collaborate and compete. Our digital ecosystem consulting team helps clients get ready to be part of—or to build—a digital ecosystem.

Companies once might have kicked off a joint venture or a strategic alliance with a few industry partners to share risks or enter a new market, but now many companies collaborate in digital ecosystems of dozens or even hundreds of partners from several industries to bring their offerings to market.

This new collaboration model isn’t a fad; it’s the future of business. Many of the world’s largest companies are part of vast digital ecosystems that are disrupting not just their industries but broad swaths of the economy.

What Is a Digital Ecosystem?

A digital ecosystem is when many largely independent economic players join forces to create a digital offering that is more valuable than a single company’s product or service. Some digital ecosystems develop solutions—like a connected car or a smart home. Others bring together buyers and sellers on a digital platform.

Our End-to-End Approach for Digital Ecosystems

BCG helps companies looking to develop or participate in a digital ecosystem move from strategy to scale in less than 24 months.

  • STRATEGY. To capitalize on the benefits of digital collaboration, companies must craft a forward-thinking digital ecosystem strategy, navigate the startup community to spot potential partners, and identify the partners that can make an immediate impact. 
  • BUILD-UP. Because new technologies, partners, and competitors emerge all the time, it’s vital to adapt and pivot during the initial phases of ecosystem growth. We work with clients to create a flexible, agile model for designing, setting up, and governing a digital ecosystem.
  • SCALE. Orchestrators of collaboration networks need to create a sense of community and trust while ensuring that all participants benefit. Value—whether it’s data, IP, or financial gain—must be shared to create strong and lasting partnerships.

Our Solutions for Powering Digital Ecosystems

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The BCG Center for Growth and Innovation Analytics uses data science to mine vast troves of unstructured data to spot tomorrow’s opportunities and provide forward-looking data-driven insights in the areas of technology, IP, innovation, and growth.

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BCG’s Fintech Control Tower monitors and conducts deep research on global fintech and insurtech trends and supports clients with innovation discovery, scouting and sourcing, and open innovation efforts.


BCG’s comprehensive benchmarking tool constructs a comprehensive view of the competitive landscape and provides key insights into what makes digital ecosystems successful.


BCG’s Digital Ecosystem Accelerator is a diagnostic survey, supported by a benchmarking database that contains more than 90 companies from across sectors and regions. The Accelerator addresses key questions about participating in a digital ecosystem. For more information, contact Ask_DE@BCG.com.

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BCG’s Digital Acceleration Index helps organizations assess their digital maturity by uncovering their digital strengths, identifying gaps in their digital capabilities, and evaluating their performance relative to their peers in digital efforts.


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