ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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ISSB Confronts the Challenge of IT Standardization

Congressman Ehlers Slated to Speak at Standards Coordination Conference

New York, May 16, 2002

Though programming wiz-kids are no longer becoming tech-stock millionaires overnight and Silicon Valley isn't quite the boomtown it used to be, e-commerce-the selling of products through the Internet-is still big business. Internet sales of clothing retailer J. Crew, for instance, surpassed their catalog sales for the first time this February.[1]

The ANSI Information Systems Standards Board (ISSB) is aware of the growing importance of e-business and is preparing to meet the technology standardization challenges that lie ahead. Building upon the success of a conference meeting style adopted last year, the ISSB will hold their second Standards Coordination Conference, "Challenges for IT Standardization," on July 9-10, 2002 at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) headquarters in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

The conference will focus on emerging standards development efforts within the context of electronic business (e-business). Dr. Arden L. Bement, Jr, director of NIST, and Michael Glickman ISSB chairman, will deliver opening remarks, followed by a special presentation by guest speaker, the Honorable Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Environment, Technology and Standards. Mr. Ehlers will discuss the impact of standards on the national economy and the ability of the U.S. to compete internationally; he will also address several questions that were raised last year during a series of congressional hearings. His remarks will center on issues such as the need for speed in standards development, Federal agency use of IT standards, and ways to coordinate efforts between formal and consortia standards developers.

Conference topics will explore the need for industry-specific standards, proposed methods to coordinate and share standardization across sectors, the global harmonization of standards within the IT arena, and standards-based solutions for the public- and private-sector chief information officer. The conference will close with a series of three case studies that will examine how to accelerate the standards development process, federal use of standards, and a summary of the specific issues identified during the conference and proposed next steps.

ISSB is gearing "Challenges for IT Standardization" to individuals active in any organization or company affected by IT standards, from policy decision makers to industry executives to IT users and developers. The conference is co-sponsored by the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards , the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions, Uniform Code Council, Inc., the Defense Information Systems Agency and Health Level Seven. Attendance is free; interested parties must register by June 28, 2002.

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[1] Source: E-Commerce Report: "J. Crew reaches a milestone as its sales over the Web exceed sales from its catalog," Monday, March 25, 2002, late edition, The New York Times.

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