- Technology ecosystems are product platforms defined by core components made by the platform owner and complemented by applications made by autonomous companies in the periphery.
- These ecosystems offer solutions comprising a larger system of use than the original platform owner created and solve an important technical problems within in an industry.
- In successful technology ecosystems it is easy to connect to or build upon the core solution in order to expand the system of use and allow new and even unanticipated end uses.
- The core firm's product has important but limited value when used alone but substantially increases in value when used with the complementary applications. 
Forrester's concept of an IT ecosystem is much more comprehensive. The CIO is no longer just responsible for leading the "IT department." He or she is responsible for managing relationships within an "ecosystem" comprising three types of participants: 
- Consumers: the end-customers and users of technology within the organization.
- Producers: the technology vendors, including both product and service providers
- Influencers: the key stakeholders within the business that have an increasing voice over the direction and role of IT.
The boundaries between participants in the IT ecosystem are becoming less definite, leading to many interesting complications in the role of the CIO today.