Keywords: standards infrastructure, innovation, information technology, internet, technology life cycle, corporate strategy, public policy, IPv6, internet protocol, transition costs, IT services, web services, investment risks, private sector investment
Complex standards and innovation in the digital economy: the Internet Protocol
As Web-based services evolve from a medium for data exchange to a system for managing geographically-dispersed work flows, the complexity of the supporting infrastructure is increasing along with the sophistication of the actual services. This paper presents a case study of the global transition to IPv6 to illustrate the importance of a standards infrastructure in the evolution of internet-based services across the global economy and the consequent strategic and policy issues facing industry and government. Industry cost data are presented and a model is proposed to explicitly represent the role of standards in the innovation process and illuminate private sector investment risks.