Monday, October 12, 2009

Too Many Standards?

LightReading had an interesting post last Thursday, It was about discussions in Geneva by "a group of 19 chief technologists and other CXOs". It seems that they are upset about too many standards, and lack of interoperability between them. I can certainly understand that - given how many standards I have participated in, over the last 15+ years. :-)

"The standardization landscape has become too complicated and fragmented, with hundreds of industry forums and consortia," notes the ITU. "CTOs agreed that it has become increasingly challenging to identify and prioritize how to concentrate standardization resources."

If I am asked what standards to support (asked both by customers and product teams), I have to first ask about the customer segment (telecommunications versus enterprise), the domain (hardware, storage, software, services or networking), the need for supporting tooling (there are standards with little backing tooling), and the modeling experience of the teams (there are some unbelievably complicated specifications!). God forbid that a product needs to support many of these areas and has little time to build the right skill sets. Unfortunately, we have been there for several years now!

I especially liked the posted comment from "JayJay" ...

"And who is responsible for the fragmented standardization landscape? IF I don't get what I want in a standardization body, 'I make my own Forum' is a widely used approach ..."

I must admit, this happens all the time. We as an industry do need to take religious fervor and company politics out of our standards.