Data Ecosystems: Conceptual Foundations, Constituents and Recommendations for Action
Water, light, plants and animals: the interplay of these factors in a natural ecosystem is an excellent role model for state-of-the-art value chains within economy, as ecosystems are characterized by the fact that not one of the systems members is able to optimize their well-being on their own. Any ecosystem has to come together and act as a whole, in order to gain profits. Thus, ecosystems create a balance between the reciprocal benefits of its members. But what do ecosystems have in common with the digital economy? The proliferation of digital technologies and artificial intelligence solutions is accelerating business models that are characterized by steadily increasing data traffic. In this sense, a data ecosystem is an ecosystem in which data is the strategic resource for the success of the entire system. Making the most of this valuable resource must be the goal of business ecosystems. The Fraunhofer Institute for Software and Systems Engineering ISST is setting standards for a (controllable) data sharing. Its scientists are researching the value of data as well as handling data sovereignly. With many other Fraunhofer institutes, Fraunhofer ISST closely collaborates with partners from industry, research and politics within the initiative International Data Spaces to design and implement the framework for sovereign data sharing of the future. Within this endeavor, Fraunhofer ISST focuses on four application sectors: Healthcare, Logistics, Data Business and Automotive. This paper will elaborate on the rising topic of data ecosystems and how organizations can generate more value of existing data assets by using inter-organizational cooperations.