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.

Chapter 4: A systematic mapping study on software ecosystems from a three-dimensional perspective

Olavo Barbosa, Rodrigo Pereira dos Santos, Carina Alves, Claudia Werner and Slinger Jansen

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


Increasing attention is being paid to connectivity and dependency in relationships between companies. Innovations no longer originate in a single organization; rather they are co-innovations from different players (Arndt and Dibbern, 2006). Companies co-evolve capabilities around a new innovation: they work cooperatively and competitively to support new products, satisfy customer needs, and eventually incorporate the next round of innovations (Moore, 1993). These loose networks of suppliers, distributors, outsourcing companies, developers of related products or services, technology providers, and a host of other organizations that affect and are affected by, the creation and delivery of a company’s own offerings (Iansiti and Levien, 2004). According to these viewpoints, researchers use a new perspective to analyze the software industry, called Software Ecosystems (SECOs). This is an emergent field inspired by concepts from business and biological ecosystems (Moore, 1993; Iansiti and Levien, 2004). In the Software Engineering (SE) community, studies of SECOs were motivated by the software product lines (SPLs) approach which aimed at allowing external developers to contribute to hitherto closed platforms (Bosch, 2009). However, different research directions indicated by literature and industrial cases reinforce many important perspectives to be explored, such as architecture, social networks, modeling, business, mobile platforms and organizational-based management (Jansen et al, 2009a). Besides, SECOs involve a multidisciplinary perspective, including sociology, communication, economy, business and law.

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