Economics and Value of Information Systems


The value chain concept disaggregates a firm into the various activities it performs. Abstracting from the firm-level thisconcept has also been applied to industries as a whole. In this paper we conceptualize a software specific value chain andprovide a first proof of concept. Our approach aggregates and unifies findings from a literature review on industry-level valuechains, software value chains, and related concepts. The resulting unified software value chain comprises eleven activities:product research, component procurement, product development, user documentation, production and packaging, marketing,implementation, training and certification, maintenance and support, operations, and replacement. A first proof of concept isprovided through expert interviews with software firms. Furthermore, we present an example that shows how the softwarevalue chain can be applied to measure the degree of vertical integration in the software industry.