2.4 Data Exchange and Data Sharing

Cross-company data exchange with the help of inter-organizational information systems is not a new topic; it has been around for decades. With the proliferation of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) in the 1980s, many different data exchange scenarios have emerged over time, which were accompanied by the development of certain technical standards.

Evolution of technical standards for data exchange

Figure 2.4.1: Evolution of technical standards for data exchange

The Figure above shows the evolution of technical standards for data exchange since the 1980s, using the example of automotive logistics. Data sovereignty, which is one of the main goals of the International Data Spaces, materializes in 'terms and conditions' that are linked to data before it is exchanged and shared. However, these terms and conditions (such as time to live, forwarding rights, pricing information etc.) have not been standardized yet. In order to foster the establishment of data sovereignty in the exchange of data within business ecosystems, more standardization activities are needed.

This does not mean that existing standards will become obsolete. Instead, the overall set of standards companies need to comply with when exchanging and sharing data needs to be extended. It is therefore necessary to distinguish between data exchange and data sharing (see also the Figure below:

  • Data exchange takes place in the vertical cooperation between companies to support, enable or optimize value chains and supply chains (e.g. EDI messages in logistics or HL7 in medical scenarios).

  • Data sharing takes place in the vertical and horizontal collaboration between companies to achieve a common goal (e.g. predictive maintenance scenarios in manufacturing) or to enable new business models by generating additional value out of data (e.g. in data marketplaces). Furthermore, data sharing implies a mode of collaboration towards coopetition.

Data exchange vs. data sharing

Figure 2.4.2 : Data Exchange and Data Sharing

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