Visualizing Interfirm Collaboration in the Microservices Ecosystem

AbstractThe shift from monolithic software solutions to a microservices architecture is fundamentally changing the way software is developed, deployed, and managed. In this paper, we aim to uncover the collaborative fabric of the microservices ecosystem using a data-driven visualization approach of 2,608 software firms. Our visual analysis reveals a core-periphery structure with several subcommunities, suggesting both complementary and competing arrangements between software vendors. Theoretically, our paper contributes to our understanding of interfirm relationships in a software context. Managerially, our results show that there are wide range of partnership strategies that shape the microservices ecosystem. Methodologically, we demonstrate how a data-driven ecosystem visualization approach can help decision makers augment their sensemaking capability of emerging software ecosystems. The paper concludes with opportunities for future research.


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