This blog is intended to support and complement a book, currently in progress, about interoperability in ICT contexts by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser.  This blog will serve both to discuss various topics related to interoperability and to give occasional updates on the progress of the book.

The book will develop a series of arguments about how interoperability might be achieved through law, policy, technology, and innovations in the marketplace and why it is so important that we learn to make the most complex systems work together in most cases.  As part of the book-writing process, we are developing a series of short case studies focused on lessons learned from other areas/sectors where interoperability is key, such as transportation, currency markets, and energy.  These case studies will explore how various forces (law, policy, technology, economic incentives, market innovations, etc) drive and inhibit interoperability and what associated stakeholders seek to achieve via interoperability.

The cases will include both relatively discrete problems, such as cell phone charger or railway standardization, and more complex systems including, for example, interoperability in the health sector (EHRs), online identity systems, cloud computing, and the smart grid.  These cases and other examples will be used towards sharpening definitions of interoperability and its relevance for consumers, companies, governments, and the public.