The aim of this research is to gain understanding of and develop methodologies for building digital ecosystems. The overall objective is to build connected, sustainable society, which is capable of cost-effectively feeding, watering, housing, educating, keeping in good health and employing its members.
The results are expected to emerge from the digital ecosystem self-organization, rather than to be achieved as explicit design goals.
According to Wikipedia, “A digital ecosystem is a distributed, adaptive, open socio-technical system with properties of self-organisation, scalability and sustainability inspired from natural ecosystems. Digital ecosystem models are informed by knowledge of natural ecosystems, especially for aspects related to competition and collaboration among diverse entities”.
Gartner’s definition is simpler, “A digital ecosystem is an interdependent group of enterprises, people and/or things that share standardized digital platforms for a mutually beneficial purpose (such as commercial gain, innovation or common interest). Digital ecosystems enable you to interact with customers, partners, adjacent industries — even your competition”.
Building of ecosystems can be best achieved by adaptive partnerships of enterprises, administrations, individuals and “things” (like in the Internet of Things).
This is a long-term project, which Professor Rzevski has directed since the year 2000. The project is financed by his commercial ventures – currently by Digital Ecosystems Ltd, London, Helsinki, Moscow and Samara.
Most of the codding is outsourced to Samara, Russia where about 100 highly qualified software designers work under guidance of Professor Petr Skobelev from Samara Aerospace University.
Research aims to develop a practical methodology that can help organisations (businesses, as well as political and administrative organisations) to prosper under conditions of complexity.
Complexity of our social, economic, geopolitical and technological environments is relentlessly increasing, which is manifested by:
As a rule, our organisations are deterministic (rigidly structured) and are designed to work in a deterministic environment (i.e., to meet predictable demands). They cannot cope with complex environments.
It is necessary to design complexity into organisations to make them adaptive, i.e., able to:
Research is conducted by a set of experiments, as follows:
During the last 17 years Professor Rzevski and Professor Skobelev jointly led teams that developed many large-scale complex adaptive systems that are successfully implemented into various commercial organisations transforming them into adaptive businesses and enabling them to successfully cope with complexity of the Internet-based global market.
Some examples are listed below:
From this experience, George and Petr have extracted concepts, principles and methods for Managing Complexity, as summarised in the book “Managing Complexity” by Rzevski and Skobelev, WIT Press, Southampton, Boston, 2014. ISBN 978-1-84564-936-4.