Data As Infrastructure

Report by Peter Kawalek and Ali Bayat: “In the 21st Century, data is infrastructure. This is because the managed and built environments increasingly depend upon data in real-time. Moreover, the sources of this data are potentially multiple, not necessarily arising from within the control of traditional institutions, and yet this data can be complex in form. It follows from this that data is a critical component and needs to be understood as a key part of 21st infrastructure but that it presents new challenges to those institutions concerned with the safe and effective management of infrastructure.

It is now widely accepted that the digitization of the economy has taken root in a way that means it is not confined to one sector. All sectors are affected in some common ways. Brynjolfsson and McAfee are among those who have described this. The economic drivers behind digitization are successfully isolated and described by Goldfarb & Tucker , and there are important contributions to understanding given by economists including Levin and Nordhaus . It is proportionate to describe the economic and social ramifications within the frame of ‘Creative Destruction’, originally described by Schumpeter in 19425 . In this light, the importance of data can be expected to grow across most or all industry sectors. Its effective management will become ever more critical to the economy and to society more widely….(More)”