How do software ecosystems co-evolve? A view from openstack and beyond

Jose Teixeira, Sami Hyrynsalmi*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

9 Citations (Scopus)


Much research that analyzes the evolution of a software ecosystem is confined to its own boundaries. Evidence shows, however, that software ecosystems co-evolve independently with other software ecosystems. In other words, understanding the evolution of a software ecosystem requires an especially astute awareness of its competitive landscape and much consideration for other software ecosystems in related markets. A software ecosystem does not evolve in insulation but with other software ecosystems. In this research, we analyzed the OpenStack software ecosystem with a focal perspective that attempted to understand its evolution as a function of other software ecosystems. We attempted to understand and explain the evolution of OpenStack in relation to other software ecosystems in the cloud computing market. Our findings add to theoretical knowledge in software ecosystems by identifying and discussing seven different mechanisms by which software ecosystems mutually influence each other: sedimentation and embeddedness of business relationships, strategic management of the portfolio of business relationships, firms values and reputation as a partner, core technological architecture, design of the APIs, competitive replication of functionality and multi-homing. Research addressing the evolution of software ecosystem should, therefore, acknowledge that software ecosystems entangle with other software ecosystems in multiple ways, even with competing ones. A rigorous analysis of the evolution of a software ecosystem should not be solely confined to its inner boundaries.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSoftware Business - 8th International Conference, ICSOB 2017, Proceedings
EditorsKarl Werder, Arto Ojala, Helena Holmstrom Olsson
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9783319691909
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
Event8th International Conference on Software Business, ICSOB 2017 - Essen, Germany
Duration: 12 Jun 201713 Jun 2017

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Business Information Processing
ISSN (Print)1865-1348


Conference8th International Conference on Software Business, ICSOB 2017


  • Business ecosystem
  • Evolution
  • Open-source
  • Openstack
  • Software ecosystem


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