We are in the midst of a fundamental
shift in the economics of information, a shift that will precipitate
changes in the structure of entire industries and in the ways
companies compete. This shift is made possible by the widespread
adoption of Internet technologies, but it is less about technology
and more about a new behavior reaching critical mass. Millions of
people are communicating at home and at work in an explosion of
connectivity that threatens to undermine the established value
chains for businesses in many sectors of the economy.
The authors present a conceptual
framework for understanding the relationship of information to the
physical components of the value chain and how the Internet's
ability to separate the two will lead to the reconfiguration of the
value proposition in many industries. In any business where the
physical value chain has been compromised for the sake of delivering
information, there will be an opportunity to create a separate
information business and a need to streamline the physical one.
Executives must keep examining the potential to deconstruct their
businesses to see the real value of what they have. If they do not,
someone else will.