The digital business ecosystem (DBE) is an infrastructure that is being designed to support the flexible development and composition of business services. Operating under open source licensing and designed according to open standards principles, the DBE is currently funded by the European Commission. The issue facing DBE project partners who include research institutions, large technology companies and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is how to sustain the momentum of the project once funding ceases. Responsibility for maintaining the infrastructure and ensuring that it remains open will fall to a governing body. However, the legal and organisational requirements of that body have yet to be defined. This paper provides details of research in progress which is being carried out into questions of governance and sustainability of the DBE infrastructure. Data collection will take the form of a ground-up process of consultation in which participating SMEs will be asked for their views on what form of governance the nascent DBE community should adopt. Early feedback suggests three areas of governance will take precedence during this transition phase: the constitution of a governing body; governance necessary to maintain the DBE infrastructure; and governance to support SME participation.
Darking, Mary; Dini, P; and Whitley, E. A., "The challenge of building public technology infrastructure: issues of governance and sustainability in a digital business ecosystem" (2006). ECIS 2006 Proceedings. 47.