Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation … begins where competition leaves off.
—Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Chapter 6 addressed the industrial organization of the software value chain from software creation to use. Software creation, one of the more important links of the chain, starts with a set of requirements and culminates in a software distribution that can be provisioned, including analysis of user needs, development, maintenance, customer support, and upgrades (see section 5.1).
This chapter addresses the internal structure of the software creation industry. It is common for a total solution to be composed of software products from multiple firms, whether the integration is performed by a system integrator or by a software supplier who licenses modules from other suppliers. Thus, cooperation (as well as competition) among firms in the software industry is crucially important. Interesting issues addressed in this chapter include how the organization of this production industry arises, how and why it is changing, and how firms coordinate themselves to arrive at composable solutions meeting user needs. This chapter first discusses the industrial organization, then the ways in which firms coordinate themselves, and finally the supply chain arising within the industry based on software components.