Strategising in digital ecosystems: the role of modelling in developing situational awareness

Digital innovation has resulted in a progressive disintegration of monolithic IT systems and increased permeability of organisational boundaries, with system components spread across digital ecosystems comprising of technology and services. In this context, strategic decisions regarding selection, integration and decommissioning of system components for value creation can become extremely complex. Prof. Mark Thompson and co-authors are working on the little-explored construct of situational awareness which, they argue, is of growing relevance for strategic decision-making in the context of distributed digital ecosystems. They are investigating the potential utility of this construct via a mapping artefact, the Wardley Map, which is said to enhance situational awareness within, and across, value chains, and offer an empirical study of its use for strategising. The map appears to enable practitioners to make sense of the open-ended digital ecosystem by developing an awareness of their own situated positioning in relation to those of other components, enabling better-informed decision-making.

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