Nowadays, business, scientific, and educational fields of activity are especially dependent on having easy and quick access to information. The volume, reliability and timeliness of the data they receive have a direct impact on their success. Many areas of activity already have their own information infrastructures or, in other words, sets of equipment, communication channels, sources of information and methods of its transmission that help people work more efficiently, be in touch with all participants in the system, and quickly and correctly respond to any local or global changes. It takes time to form such a structure. Besides, there is no end to this process as there are always new factors to consider.
Main Stages of Formation of any Information Infrastructure
It is difficult to imagine any field of activity that would not be surrounded by a certain information background, a system of interaction between its participants, a system for notifying about important events, communication channels between organizations and people, and so on. All this does not appear at once, but takes a long time to form and optimize: those things that are needed remain and acquire new elements, while unnecessary things simply disappear.
Usually, the process of forming information structures includes the following key stages:
- Communications, the first elements of infrastructure, appear. The reason for this is the very emergence of a new field of activity or its significant change. For example, when the first financial exchanges appeared, there was immediately a special press for them and analysts who tried to predict the behavior of the markets;
- An active build-up of information flows and communications begins. Besides, the information needs of industries or businesses appear, which over time become more structured and effectively satisfied;
- At the next stage, all the available components are structured and formed into a complete information infrastructure with certain subsystems;
- Then whole social institutions and solid formations appear and ensure the functioning of the new information infrastructure. Now they have more reliable and new information, all communication systems are regularly updated and improved, the number of participants in the interaction increases and their interaction follows a strict system.
It would be wrong to say that the information system in any area, for example, banking, has completed its formation. This process is ongoing and depends on a million factors: new cryptocurrencies, the political and economic environment, new communication standards, even the recent quarantine and mandatory vaccinations. Absolutely any factor can affect a certain information infrastructure, including Trump’s or Elon Musk’s tweets on the Internet.
Components of a Typical Information Infrastructure
During their formation, information infrastructures always acquire some components, here is a list of the main ones:
- A set of equipment: computers, smartphones, routers, TVs, servers, other things that collect, analyze, transmit and receive data;
- General and special software that makes it easier to transfer data;
- Selected communication standards, channels for its implementation, interfaces and protocols that provide the best results;
- All participants in the information infrastructure receive a minimum set of equipment and software for interaction.
Most information infrastructures that are important to society or some area of activity are slowly built and modernized on their own, although it is also acceptable to artificially influence these processes.