Visualization of interfirm relations in a converging mobile ecosystem
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- Basole, R. J Inf Technol (2009) 24: 144. doi:10.1057/jit.2008.34
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The mobile ecosystem is characterized by a large and complex network of companies interacting with each other, directly and indirectly, to provide a broad array of mobile products and services to end-customers. With the convergence of enabling technologies, the complexity of the mobile ecosystem is increasing multifold as new actors are emerging, new relations are formed, and the traditional distribution of power is shifted. Drawing on theories of network science, complex systems, interfirm relationships, and the creative art and science of visualization, this paper identifies key players and maps the complex structure and dynamics of nearly 7000 global companies and over 18,000 relationships in the converging mobile ecosystem. Our approach enables decision makers to (i) visually explore the complexity of interfirm relations in the mobile ecosystem, (ii) discover the relation between current and emerging segments, (iii) determine the impact of convergence on ecosystem structure, (iv) understand a firm's competitive position, and (v) identify interfirm relation patterns that may influence their choice of innovation strategy or business models.