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Architecting Digital Ecosystems to Grow Value

Ecosystems; Partnering; Platforms; Enterprise Architecture

In 2023, we studied how companies govern digital ecosystems, including when they adopt emerging innovations in Web3-enabled governance. In our interviews, we identified three types of ecosystem governance—single leader, representative, and decentralized—that enable companies to successfully pursue business strategies within ecosystems that align with the design of the ecosystem.

In this year’s project, we will build on our findings to understand how companies can best architect or participate in digital ecosystems to grow value, including choosing the best governance approach and architecture for the company’s strategic goals and domain.

We plan to conduct a series of interviews (one to three per company) with ecosystem leaders, CIOs, CDOs, lead architects, and others—especially those from companies leading digital ecosystems—and create several case vignettes.

We will focus on the following research questions:

  • What are the key architectural capabilities and principles (including governance and platform architecture) demonstrated by successful digital ecosystems?
  • How does ecosystem architecture impact ecosystem and company performance in different domains?
  • What are successful ecosystem architecture approaches to address social challenges such as sustainability?

SEEKING: We are seeking participation in the research from executives responsible for digital ecosystems. These could be general managers of ecosystem business units or the chief architects for those platforms, but also chief digital officers, chief information officers, and similar.

CONTACT: Ina Sebastian


Ina M. Sebastian, Research Scientist

Ina studies how large enterprises transform for success in the digital economy. Her current research areas are digital partnering—including strategies to grow with digital partners and partnering strength—and value creation and value capture in digital models.

Gayan Benedict, CTO and VP of Customer Advisory, and MIT CISR Industry Research Fellow

Gayan is CTO of Salesforce Australia/NZ and an MIT CISR industry research fellow, and former CIO of the Reserve Bank of Australia. In 2023, Gayan was a Fulbright Scholar at Georgetown University's CyberSMART Center and is a member of the ISO TC/307 Technical Committee for Blockchain Standards.

Thomas Haskamp, Research Associate

Thomas is a Research Associate at the Chair for Design Thinking and Innovation at the Hasso Plattner Institute and a member of the HPI Stanford Design Thinking Research Program. For his PhD, Thomas is investigating inertia and resistance to change within digital transformation initiatives of incumbent firms. 

MIT CISR research is funded by the more than seventy-five member organizations that support our work and participate in our consortium. 

MIT CISR Patrons
Axway, Inc.
Pegasystems Inc.
The Ogilvy Group
MIT CISR Sponsors
Alcon Vision
Allstate Insurance Company
ANZ Banking Group (Australia)
Banco Bradesco S.A. (Brazil)
Banco do Brasil S.A.
Bank of Queensland (Australia)
Barclays (UK)
BlueScope Steel (Australia)
BNP Paribas (France)
Caterpillar, Inc.
Cemex (Mexico)
Cochlear Limited (Australia)
Commonwealth Superannuation Corp. (Australia)
Cuscal Limited (Australia)
CVS Health
Dawn Foods
DBS Bank Ltd. (Singapore)
Doosan Corporation (Korea)
Fidelity Investments
Fomento Economico Mexicano, S.A.B., de C.V.
Fortum (Finland)
Gilbane Building Co.
Johnson & Johnson (J&J)
Kaiser Permanente
King & Wood Mallesons (Australia)
Koç Holding (Turkey)
Nasdaq, Inc.
NN Insurance Eurasia NV
Nomura Holdings, Inc. (Japan)
Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. Systems Consulting Division (Japan)
Novo Nordisk A/S (Denmark)
OCP Group
Pacific Life Insurance Company
Posten Bring AS (Norway)
Principal Life Insurance Company
Ramsay Health Care (Australia)
Raytheon Technologies
Scentre Group Limited (Australia)
Schneider Electric Industries SAS (France)
Stockland (Australia)
Tabcorp Holdings (Australia)
Telstra Limited (Australia)
Terumo Corporation (Japan)
Tetra Pak (Sweden)
Truist Financial Corporation
UniSuper Management Pty Ltd (Australia)
Uniting (Australia)
Webster Bank, N.A.
Westpac Banking Corporation (Australia)
WestRock Company
Wolters Kluwer
Xenco Medical
Zoetis Services LLC

MIT CISR Associate Members

MIT CISR wishes to thank all of our associate members for their support and contributions.

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