The battle of the digital ecosystems

Written by Martin Hermsen Comments 0


The battle of the digital eco-systems
A couple of minutes ago I got triggered to write this quick blog. In my LinkedIn timeline passed a sponsored message from, a Dutch e-tailer that is part of the Ahold Group. The message shows this company truly understands what digital transformation is about and in which interesting era we live.

We still encounter too many business people that link digital transformation with digital marketing.  With as a result they limit their views to the impact digital has on the interaction with the customer. If they are stretching themselves, they think about an integrated experience for that customer in all touchpoints they have with each other. And yes it is fair to say that many companies are already struggling to keep the pace in creating that digital ME eco-system.


However that is only half of the digital eco-system. The digitalization of our technology enables a digital WE ecosystem at a speed and ease of implementation as we have never seen before. This digital WE ecosystem enables companies to truly partner with other companies and excel in what they do best. is a great example of this, by now they have optimized their supply chain and customer order-delivery experience to such a level that they clearly have a competitive advantage vs companies that have to start all this up or smaller companies for whom this represents a massive fix cost. So instead of having to invest in enlarging their product offer to further improve the customer experience, they offer their area of excellence to what, on first sight, may seem direct competitors. We are not involved in this decision taking, and therefore have no numbers. But I’m quite convinced that in terms of business case and cash flow indicators this approach is far more attractive and less risky. And let us not forget the amount of data and insights this provides! Wouldn’t you like to know at what price your competitors are selling to whom at what moment?

I know, some of you will already be thinking, ‘ isn’t that exactly what Amazon did?’.  Yes, it is. But exactly for that reason it is important! has the advantage to be in a position to geographically (NL-BE) have an alternative to the amazon digital WE eco-system.

Companies that focus only on the digital ME ecosystem are in for a surprise. Despite their huge investments and tough transformations they may be set up for failure when faced with a Digital WE ecosystem that floods their market.  It is my opinion that the competition battle will be played between digital WE eco-systems in providing the best digital ME-eco systems to the customers. So you better start looking beyond your AtoZ fully owned One-stop shop concept. How do you think the digital WE eco-systems will look like for your area of activity and what role will you play in it?

Wanna discuss? Call me (+32475 83 99 98) or mail

About the author: Davy Verhulst is managing partner of Dicitas Consulting Belux. Dicitas Consulting helps organizations to achieve breakthrough business performance improvement with digital innovation thru digital transformation.

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