Does an Information technology taxonomy exist?
April 22, 2009 2:06 PM   Subscribe

Is there such a thing as an "Information Technology Taxonomy?"

IT is everywhere in our society, so I was stunned to find that I can't find a comprehensive categorization of all the things that comprise information technology. I realize that the very definition of IT can mean many different things, but I need to find viewpoints on have defined, and then categorize the field.

Any leads?
posted by nyc_consultant to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I don't think so. There isn't any good way to draw sensible boundaries, because everything can be connected to everything else. New stuff gets created all the time, so trying to maintain a taxonomy would be difficult.
posted by delmoi at 2:44 PM on April 22, 2009

They do exist - there's one here or here or here (Disclosure - I'm part of the company that site is part of). What delmoi says is correct though - they're not easy to set up and require maintenance to be useful. (Fuller disclosure - I'm no taxonomy expert)
posted by eb98jdb at 3:47 PM on April 22, 2009

Would it be at all useful to have simultaneous, possibly-overlapping taxonomies for individual facets* of the information technology concept? I know that IT skills thesauri exist, for example. You may not be able to tell us more about what you're up to, but if you can, I bet we can compile a (partial) list.

*Get it? I said "faceted" and it's a question about taxonomies! Oh, information science humor.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 4:02 PM on April 22, 2009

The closest thing I can think of is ITIL, since as a complete framework for IT service management they are pretty keen on defining the hell out of everything. But not a taxonomy as such, just a set of best practices.
posted by yoHighness at 4:14 PM on April 22, 2009

Fwiw, I'm not a programmer, but I did sell software and databases years ago, and it would seem that any attempt to comprehensively create IT taxonomy would likely not include all the various proprietary (i.e. non-open-access) IT tools and code and projects that are being used and built to spec by corporations, etc.

Everyone has their own way of either building or tweaking IT, and then there's the question of patents, so a lot of corporations are very protective of providing all the recipes to all the ingredients. But I was a salesperson and not an IT person, so I readily admit I could be way off here too.

As an example, certainly nanotech IT, biotech IT, military or intel IT, spyware, those kinds of things will not be shared, and so any new IT tools from those sectors are not going to be included in any taxonomy.
posted by ornate insect at 6:34 PM on April 22, 2009

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