Published on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140908081940-49953604-ecosystemic-approach-applied-to-the-software-industry
The software, apps and all the players connected to distribution and development have in recent years undergone a major transformation.
The emergence of new types of devices, the coexistence of different operating systems, an increasing number of app stores, and the rapid growth of new developers make this industry a complex system. Due to this complexity the industry requires new methods of study and analysis.
As entrepreneurs, we recognize, first, the need to integrate into a single system the different universes or «environmental components» of our company such as clients-users, employees, competitors, investors, governments, related administrative offices, etc. Second, we should learn to identify and analyze not only the characteristics of these «environmental components» but also the interactions between them and the own human and material structure of our company. Lastly, as with any true integration, interaction between the environmental components with each other is a necessary and valuable part of the process.
A less reductionist analysis is critical for understanding the joint forces and exchange of information that occurs between each group in the process of production, distribution and consumption of applications. Looking through this lens would allow us to understand our position within the so called “innovation ecosystem” and the benefit we can bring to each universe to ultimately improve and encourage the development of content and software technology.
For our company it is increasingly difficult to make predictions and improve our adaptation to a fast changing environment. The nonlinear behavior of complex systems is exacerbated by the fast development in the field of technology and constant innovation in the software market. Making even more necessary new methods of analysis.
Finally this exercise is a perfect indicator for potential problems and risks that occur in other ecosystems when strategies such as those undertaken by large companies like Apple, Google or Microsoft are utilized. Exclusive, closed and aggressive policies that do not consider the whole industry and can cause further damage than intended.
Ultimately this new vision can help us to incorporate extensively studied concepts in other disciplines like environmental sciences, ecology and economy. These concepts have substantial documentation and serve a dual purpose in improving not only our company but serving as a positive impact on the entire software ecosystem.