ICT Standardisation in a Digital World

12 December 2017

Author: OpenForum Europe

The standardisation world is at a crossroads; standards are: critical for digitisation of private and public sectors alike; increasingly high on the political agendas  of both the European Commission and Member States, as instruments for industrial and innovation policy; and key assets of industry, for open infrastructures and technologies. Considering the increased relevance of openness, which is now established as the prime paradigm for digital transformation, can standardisation meet all these expectations?

Today, aiming to answer that question, OpenForum Europe (OFE) launches its White Paper on ‘ICT Standardisation in a Digital world’.

The White Paper paper starts by looking at how the ICT standardisation ecosystem is currently in a state of flux, with the participation of an increasingly wide range of stakeholders. The paper then explains that the most successful standards are those with broad stakeholder support – especially from industry, as the main contributor to standardisation regarding ever-evolving technologies and expertise. This element, combined with tour Openness Principles, could well encourage the development of standards which are more “fit for purpose”.

In this regard, the paper concludes that partnerships between Standards Development Organisations (SDOs) and Open Source practitioners may help achieve consistency and prevent fragmentation/duplication of efforts; thus, collaboration between standardisation and Open Source is likely to increase – taking several different forms, because there is no single silver bullet. However, it is also noted that SDOs should be cautious in extending their scope into hosting Open Source projects, as SDOs should stay neutral.