The Age of “Commonalities” has Arrived

Posted by Andy_Updegrove on Feb 7, 2014 5:09 PM EDT Standards Blog; By Andy Updegrove
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Ten years ago this month I predicted that the traditional practice of developing standards would no longer be sufficient to provide solutions to ICT challenges. Guess what?

The reason I gave was that many problems demanding resolution would be too complex, too cross-sectoral, and too urgent for the old way of doing things to suffice.

The second part of my thesis was that while we should acknowledge that standards are simply tools and not an end unto themselves, it is important to recognize that the way they have traditionally been developed is extremely important. What makes standards so special is that multiple players – usually competitors - collaborate to create tools they then voluntarily use to compete with each other by creating value added goods and services on top of the standardized layer of technology.

The goal, I suggested, should therefore be to identify what is special about this process so that the same principles can be followed to create new processes capable of solving today’s more complex problems, in part by preserving the motivation for competitors to work together to voluntarily create and deploy those solutions.

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