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Taxonomy

Digital Infrastructure

Information technology (IT) as well as digital products & services are complex. Even more so, because of the changing and ever evolving terminology. Hence we have introduced a school of thought that simplifies digital infrastructure and the economy it empowers. This simplification enables us to communicate consistently and make it more accessible to anyone not well versed in IT and the digital sphere.

Note: It was not our goal to create a school of thought that can encapsulate the technical complexity of IT systems and the digital sphere. Rather, it’s about enabling non-technical stakeholders to understand & communicate in a consistent terminology, and for technical people to have a simplified reference for explaining their role in the supply chain.

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Our school of thought is simple: Software applications have a supply chain. This supply chain is what we call digital infrastructure. Digital infrastructure generates digital resources used to power the application and provides connectivity, enabling users to connect to an application.

The user can access an application using a device, e.g. a smartphone or computer with a browser.

The application requires digital resources to run. These resources are provisioned by digital infrastructure.

Digital infrastructure is the combination of IT hardware, networking and a data center facility.

The main input in the supply chain is electricity. As digital infrastructure generates heat, we use the term energy to capture both. The main output are digital resources.

We have written about how the supply chain aspect of software on our blog. Decarbonizing the Software Supply Chain →

Digital Economy

Expanding our taxonomy to describe the digital economy.

The digital economy, which consists of digital products & services running on digital infrastructure, is complex to understand at first. There are a few underlying drivers however, ranging from open source technologies, digital business models and digital infrastructure itself, that are key to understand the rapid growth of new digital products & services.

To develop a clear taxonomy and to have a model which enables us describe this new digital economy, we have published a paper together with the economists at the Commonwealth.

A Taxonomy for the Digital Economy and it’s infrastructure Authored by the SDIA (Max Schulze, Michael Oghia) and the Commonwealth (Radika Kumar) Download the resources
Visualization from the Commonwealth Paper on the taxonomy for a digital economy.
Visualization from the Commonwealth Paper on the taxonomy for a digital economy. Source is on Google Drawings.