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Shared Distributed Functionality - Its (dual) Meanings and Why It Matters
The paper studies the dual meaning of shared distributed functionality (SDF), at the level of users and at the level of their information systems. It is based on a case of digital transformation in Swiss agriculture that unfolded between 2017 and 2019 with three opposing approaches to building a sector-wide information infrastructure. It defines a framework that helps to understand how the three projects, a proprietary central service platform, a master data plan from the authority, and a peer-to-peer platform for professional organisations, differed in the dependencies they generated at the digital level, and the way these dependencies promised to feed back to the level of organizations. This helps to understand how different implementations of SDF can shape how society is transformed by digital technologies. The notions apply to other sectors such as healthcare or education.