This is the network architecture model i have used with success for decades. The model is useful to chart the different ICT infrastructures (of Computers, Storage and Telecom) and the organization and business processes of a company or community. And then start to design and change it in such a way that vertical interdependencies are made less and less. In other words, make the layers as agnostic (orthogonal) as possible.
Why this turning from vertical integration to horizontal chains ? Answer: it is the only way to make our companies or society “future proof“. We can improve the infrastructure by changing parts of it for better ones without having to rebuild the whole from scratch, when the influence of such a change/repair is only quantitative (better price performance) and not qualitative. In fact it is the only way we can cope with CHANGE. That is difficult enough, so we want not let little changes affect the whole company. When a new road is constructed we are not forced to buy other types of cars. There is vertical connection in the model when we use it, when the wheels meet the road.
Sure Telecom companies and Cable companies want to keep the vertical integration intact and resist for instance NetNeutrality to prevent their customers choosing services from competitors. But in reality the ICT companies buy and use sub-infrastructures from each other. Example: on wireless towers all over the country competing mobile operators share towers and backbone cables: that is just an other layer. Same with FttH optical fibre access networks, these should be open for a number of network operators and ISP’s.
Jaap van Till, TheConnectivist
PS. A recent version / nearly identical visualisation of [ People, Business Processes, Data, ICT infrastructure and Network Infrastructure + Energy] in one picture is the following idEA ™ “view”: