The Standardization Process in IT - Too Slow or Too Fast?

The Standardization Process in IT - Too Slow or Too Fast?

Petri Mahonen (VTT Electronics and University of Oulu, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-70-4.ch003
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Abstract

Information Technology is one of the most rapidly developing areas in the technological world. In fact, the classical information technology that has been based on computer technology is now very quickly converging with telecommunication. Wireless networking, especially mobile telecommunications, has been one of the leading areas in business and technology during the last five years. The state-of-the art in mobile telecommunication has reached a point, where new products are introduced within a cycle of one year. The next big step shall be the introduction of wireless multimedia services through next generation wireless networks. The standardization of wireless multimedia systems is a very difficult task, as the standards shall include the crucial points in the two domains, telecommunications and information technology. It is becoming more and more difficult to recruit enough expertise for the technical committees to produce high quality standards in the converging information technology and telecommunication market domain. In this chapter, we will be using this domain as an example for the standardization difficulties of future. The reasons have to be strong for initiating a standardization process, especially concerning industry, due to the fact that it is rather expensive to produce new and extensive standards. It has been estimated that the expenses of developing a single part of the Ethernet standards amount to approx. $10,000,000 (Spring & Weiss, 1994). The main development costs arise from the time, travel and salaries of the committee members. The standardization expenses are usually prohibitive for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). If the standardization organizations and committees can not guarantee that the investments done towards standardization are worthwhile we will have lots of problems in the future.

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