The quickest and shortest answer to the question „What actually is a digital ecosystem“ is: “Something like Apple”. This answer is not entirely false but it is not right either. It is right that the world Apple created fits the definition of an ecosystem quite well: “Ecosystems usually describe the relationship of living organisms with their environment and each other” (Schaefer 2012 according to Wikipedia). Let’s be generous and assume the intention to be truth: Apple created a world in which everything more or less exists and in which more or less everything suits everything. The fact that there isn’t an app for everything that happens in the digital life of an Apple user and that in the Apple World not everything suits everything does not change this basic idea.
However a very important part of the definition of ecosystems is missing. That part is the openness. We don’t have to study the subject to know that biological ecosystems are generally open. That is why the Asian ladybird is able to migrate from his ecosystem and oust the European ladybird. That is why the Indian jewelweed is able to line palatine waysides in abundance. There are not only just negative examples. Food we taken for granted to be native products such as cherries or potatoes have originally been imported from other ecosystems.
Back into the digital world. Not only Apple but Google and Microsoft as well have created digital ecosystems in which, more or less, everything exists and everything more or less suits everything. In doing so they have made the life of their users easier while filling their pockets. But all of these systems are missing the openness. That is why we at KOBIL are certain that if we are going to focus on digital ecosystems in the future, our intension should not be the invention of yet another closed digital world but to create a system that combines the familiar user comfort with a high level of security while offering openness at the same time. Achieved in compliance with our motto, we will never tire to mention: “Secure your identity”.
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