This paper examines a new approach to defining digital ecosystems. Within the digital economy of ecosystems, competition is eliminated, and organizations form unions and alliances in order to work together and cooperate to reach a set goal. This means a digital ecosystem can be viewed as a complex environment in which organizations without any hard ties operate. Digital ecosystems differ from traditional ecosystems in many ways. The business organization of the latter is based on management decision making by people. This paper presents theoretical foundations for developing digital ecosystems based on a literary review. Based on the logic of scientific search using the keywords “ecosystem” and “biological ecosystem”, the commonality of the properties of the digital ecosystem and the biological ecosystem is shown. The aim of the study is to identify common characteristics in biological, economic and digital ecosystems in order to substantiate the possibility of using the same approaches for research and modeling of such systems. A definition of a digital ecosystem is proposed by the authors which points out the main features of this kind of system and highlights the dominant role of modern digital technologies in the formation of the digital ecosystem. The paper looks at the distinctive features of digital ecosystems and characteristics similar to the characteristics of biological ecosystems, such as ecosystem participants, presence of limiting impacts, lack of vertical hierarchical communication. The developed model can be used to model digital ecosystems. The authors believe that the emergence of a trend in the transformation of ecosystems in the direction of expanding the collaboration of economic agents is reasonable. At the same time, digitalization helps to replace competition with collaboration. The paper finishes with a discussion of the obtained results and a plan for further research.
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