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CEOs Look to Value Ecosystems But Data Ownership Missing Link

We’re going to be hearing a lot more about horizontal value networks and value ecosystems as the headlong hurtle into digital continues. This is the most disruptive realm of digital that, surprisingly perhaps, appears to be attracting the most mindshare of CEOs and the board. Interesting again, that the rush to emulate Uber and Airbnb, is accompanied by some confusion about what these paradigms mean for the B2B world.

A horizontal value network is the place, where every stakeholder in the connected car universe, for example, meets. Insurance brokers, car makers, component manufacturers, road authorities, traffic monitoring services and travel hospitality all share connected car data, such as driver style or road surface conditions. Parties can then join the dots and broker services such as bespoke insurance premiums or just-in-time road repair services.

To participate effectively in value ecosystems or horizontal value networks, CEOs and their companies – with CIOs and CDOs playing lead roles – are going to have to figure out some baseline rules around data, though. Data is the element with the power to transfigure and innovate, but rules around data sharing and ownership during projects under construction are ambiguous to say the least.

Copyright rules and EU legal systems do not protect ownership of data, but historically have focussed on intellectual property of actual products or items. This gaping legal hole has to be plugged if manufacturers, designers and other creators are to be encouraged onto networks and digital platforms that share data and create new products and services collectively.

Several recent articles on BVEx have highlighted these gaps around data sharing and ownership, including delegates’ feedback and concerns at the recent Economist roundtable on connected manufacturing. Johannes Diemer, Industry 4.0 consultant at DXC Technology, also flags up the vital work being spearheaded by Industrial Data Space on data protection within new spheres of innovation.

At the same time, a new report from innovation consultancy Happen, flags the urgency of addressing current deficiencies. According to its research, a majority of C-suite leaders (86%) admit production capabilities [vertical integration] are often not considered when it comes to new product development and innovation. If business leaders are to focus instead on the value ecosystem basket, then data ownership rules need to be sorted, and fast.

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Helen Beckett

Author: Helen Beckett

Helen Beckett is the Community Manager of the Business Value Exchange. She has been a writer and editor for over 20 years and takes a particular interest in the challenges facing the CIO in today’s business climate.