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6A. Technical Infrastructure: DIGITIZATION CHAIN

Key Concepts

system integration





Technical infrastructure refers loosely to the components that make digital imaging possible. The entire process is sometimes called the digitization chain, suggesting a series of logically ordered steps. In actual practice, the digitization chain can have side branches, loops, and recurring steps, but for simplicity's sake, we present it here as if it were linear.

The Digitization Chain
The technology necessary to navigate from one end of the digitization chain to the other consists mainly of hardware, software, and networks. These are the focus of this section. A truly comprehensive view of technical infrastructure also includes protocols and standards, policies and procedures (for workflow, maintenance, security, upgrades, etc.), and the skill levels and job responsibilities of an organization's staff.

However, even the nuts and bolts of the technical infrastructure cannot be evaluated in complete isolation. Related actions and considerations that will affect decisions about the technical infrastructure include:

Technical infrastructure decisions require careful planning because digital imaging technology changes rapidly. The best way to minimize the impact of depreciation and obsolescence is through careful evaluation, and the avoidance of unique, proprietary solutions. If equipment choices are well-matched to intended uses and expected outcomes and synched to realistic timetables, return on investment will be maximized.

Digitization Chain: Click on this image to view a close-up version.

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