Activities and challenges in the planning phase of a software ecosystem

Kati Saarni*, Marjo Kauppinen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Increasing competition forces companies to find new business opportunities by building business ecosystems together. The business ecosystem, where a set of companies develop and provide digital services together for a specific customer segment, can be referred to as a software ecosystem. The planning of ecosystems has been researched in some case studies, but more comprehensive knowledge on how to start building software ecosystems is still needed. The goal of this case study was to investigate activities and challenges in the planning phase of a Finnish software ecosystem. The case study was conducted by interviewing representatives of all six actors of the ecosystem and analyzing the material of the 12 planning workshops. The definition of a vision and objectives, the selection of actors, and the definition of a governance model were the main activities of the planning phase. It was also essential that the actors of the software ecosystem started the conceptualization of digital services and the definition of the business model together. One of the main challenges was that a clear strategy was not defined at the beginning of the planning phase. Furthermore, trust-building between the actors, different decision-making capabilities and a lack of the substance knowledge slowed down the planning phase. The actors also felt that much stronger leadership was needed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSoftware Business - 10th International Conference, ICSOB 2019, Proceedings
EditorsSami Hyrynsalmi, Mari Suoranta, Pasi Tyrväinen, Pekka Abrahamsson, Anh Nguyen-Duc
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9783030337414
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Software Business - Jyväskylä, Finland
Duration: 18 Nov 201920 Nov 2019
Conference number: 10

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Business Information Processing
Volume370 LNBIP
ISSN (Print)1865-1348
ISSN (Electronic)1865-1356


ConferenceInternational Conference on Software Business
Abbreviated titleICSOB


  • Activity
  • Challenge
  • Digital service
  • Planning
  • Software ecosystem


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