Standards Wars: Myth or Reality?
How the forces of competition, convergence, and coordination impact standards
For years, the issues of competition, convergence, and coordination have been
hotly debated within the standards and conformance community. In today’s
standards wars, there are many players but two prevailing schools of thought:
There are too many standards out there. Many of them are duplicative, and some
are even conflicting in their specifications. How can we possibly choose the
Standards developers and consortia work to meet marketplace needs. If there are
multiple standards in a given area, that is because there is demand for
multiple standards-based solutions.
As coordinator of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system, the
American National Standards Institute (ANSI) recognizes the critical importance
of well-coordinated standards development activities for the benefit of our
national economy. In an effort to share information about how market forces
impact different areas of standards development, ANSI convened an interactive
workshop – Standards Wars: Myth or Reality? – on May 12, 2011, in Washington,
This day-long workshop took a panel-based approach to discussing competition,
convergence, and coordination in different areas of standards development.
During these discussions, attendees uncovered instances where conflict and
duplication in standards development have been intentional in response to
stakeholder needs, and unintentional due to lack of awareness of existing
standardization efforts. Workshop attendees also discussed tools to identify
potentially conflicting and duplicative standards projects as early as possible
in their development, including NSSN,
the search engine for standards, which is currently under redevelopment.
Any individuals with an interest in standards development activities are invited
to participate in the Standards Wars: Myth or Reality? workshop.
This includes, but is not limited to, representatives from U.S.-based and
international standards developing organizations, consortia, trade
associations, industry, government agencies, consumer and labor groups, and
1000 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
Michelle M. Deane
American National Standards Institute
25 West 43rd Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10036