teknowlogy's top IT trends for 2019 – 6/10 Open technology-based ecosystems
As digitalization progresses, a new trend towards openness has emerged, manifesting itself in topics such as open data, open innovation, and open API. Even the decades-long open-source movement is experiencing an incredible renaissance. In the cloud business, open-source solutions such as Cloud Foundry (as an application platform), OpenStack (cloud architecture), and Kubernetes (for container management) have become established as industry standards. And even in the blockchain environment, all important protocols are being further developed as open-source projects.
The example of the insurance company Allianz suitably illustrates the importance of this movement. At the start of 2018, it made the surprise announcement that it was going to publish the core of its inventory management system, Allianz Business System (ABS), as an open-source edition. Basic functions for insurers are implemented in the core. Enterprise-specific functions (such as tariffing, product design) are then implemented in a non-open-source layer around this core. It is also interesting that Allianz wants to establish a marketplace for value-added services around its open-source software. This will enable the company to build an ecosystem of partners who, on the one hand, participate in the functional development of the core application and, on the other, provide innovative new products for insurers in the marketplace.
Similar developments can be observed in other industries, such as manufacturing companies providing IoT platforms, logistics companies developing container tracking platforms, or financial services providers implementing transaction portals for global trade. All of these solutions are based on the realization that a group of experts can do more than a single company and that digitalization enables value creation to be controlled more effectively.