Inderscience Publishers

Complex standards and innovation in the digital economy: the Internet Protocol

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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.

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

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