Most ecosystems can be further divided down into sub-ecosystems, often based on how flow of value converges within certain groups of ecosystem players. The identity space or ecosystem can be divided into the consumer, business and government segments, or separately separated based on the type of technology (digital, physical, etc) and technology wave (on-premise, web 2.0, etc).
The top sub-ecosystems of an industry are formed based on specific technology waves that transform that industry by pushing the frontiers of efficiency. For the identity industry this mainly involves the developments in digital technologies and the internet.
Here we consider any technology before advent of the internet to be legacy. So any economic activity around offering mechanical or semi analog solutions to identity problems is considered part of this sub-ecosystem.
We also consider incremental improvements on such technologies as chipped cards, smart passports etc.
During the web 1.0 era, intranet and LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) were touted inside enterprises. As part of this wave of technologies, SAML
The consumer segment always offers the larger economic opportunities due to its scale and relative uniformity, however it does provide its own challenges in terms of modes of delivery and purchase, due to the end-customers' relative lack of consideration resources and technical sophistication.
As a result the value chains serving consumers are often specialized for a specific set of features, modes of delivery and scale requirements.
🤓 Early adopter
The early adopter segment is similar to the consumer segment in terms of modes of delivery and purchase, however the audience's wants and needs are dramatically different, which is why it warrants special consideration under its own segment.
Also, in the case of new technology solutions, this segment is the first to adopt due to their high capacity for initial technical friction as long as they are the first to use and benefit from a new wave of technologies. This makes them crucial for initial traction of decentralized digital identity technology, which leads to further iterations, improvements and eventually availability for the much greater consumer market.
The requirements of businesses for adopting solutions is vastly different from consumer and early adopter segments. As a result most ecosystem players have to make a choice to specialize either in the business segment or consumer.
The business market is often further divided into segments for small businesses, mid-market and enterprises, with vast majority of the attention and economic activity going to the more lucrative enterprise market.
⚙️ Industry extension
Given that the identity [systems] industry is a supporting industry, its value chains are extended into other essential industries such as healthcare, finance and hospitality. As such we can consider specific vertical industry extensions in parts of the ecosystem that have corresponding value chains. For example, the fact that AirBnB uses Facebook login means that the consumer identity ecosystem is extended into the hospitality industry for specific use cases involving the AirBnB vertical industry app.