Software Ecosystems

Software Ecosystems

Analyzing and Managing Business Networks in the Software Industry

Edited by Slinger Jansen, Sjaak Brinkkemper and Michael Cusumano

This book describes the state-of-the-art of software ecosystems. It constitutes a fundamental step towards an empirically based, nuanced understanding of the implications for management, governance, and control of software ecosystems.


Slinger Jansen

Subjects: business and management, organisational innovation, organisation studies, strategic management, innovation and technology, organisational innovation


The intricate networks of relationships between companies in the software industry have been the subject of much research and debate. The software ecosystems that can be identified within these networks are hubs of societal and technical innovation, strategic alliances leading to competitive edges, and powerhouses for co-creation of value. Software ecosystems touch everyone’s lives: from online social networks and their myriads of third-party plug-ins, to everyone’s pocket and the miniature network device in them, loaded with apps and nifty features. This book presents novel and innovative contributions from top scholars from around the world. The most visible examples of software ecosystems are those that form around highly successful software platforms, such as Microsoft’s operating system, Apple’s and Google’s mobile phone operating systems, business platforms from Oracle and SAP, and the Facebook social network platform. Hordes of third-party developers have tried, with varying success, to use the tremendous customer bases and technical opportunities to create value for themselves and for the whole ecosystem. These third-party players have successfully created new innovations, tied different ecosystems together and created niche products that are extremely valuable to submarkets, that could never have been created by the platform leader.