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Why do we need Open Standards?
University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre.
2012 (English)In: Proceedings: EURAS Annual Standardisation Conference 'Standards and Innovation' / [ed] Marta Orviska & Kai Jakobs, Aachen: G. Mainz Verlag , 2012, 227-240 p.Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Standardisation and its impact on innovation and the broader ICT ecosystem has been a topic for intense discussions over the past few years. In this context, the term Open Standard has been used quite extensively by different representatives from various stakeholder groups. However, there remains considerable lack of clarity over what is being assumed when using the term and discussions related to Open Standards sometimes become complex and confused. This can have a significant impact on the positive effects which can truly be claimed for Open Standards from the prespective of different stakeholders.

In this paper we characterise the factors which impact on risks and opportunities associated with the development, provision, and use of Open Standards. The characterisations encompass a number of perspetives including a provider perspective, a user perspective, and a legislative perspective. The goal is to clarify the relationships between problems, such as customer lock-in and lack of market competition, and various properties ascribed by different stakeholders to the concept of an Open Standard.

We introduce an analytical device, the Open Standards Stakeholder pyramid, aimed to support analysis of roles and interactions between stakeholder roles related to Open Standards. There are four different faces of the Open Standards pyramid, each one involving three primary stakeholder roles. The four faces of the pyramid are: the product face, the specification face, the requirement face, and the technology face. Further, the four stakeholder roles in the pyramid are; users (of software systems in which such standards are being implemented); developers (of the specifications of the Open Standards which are to be implemented in the software systems by the providers); and legislators (who may influence the markretplace for Open Standards and software systems, and thereby users and providers of such). For each stakeholder role, there are different concerns which are elaborated.

Whatever view is taken concerning Open Standards, one thing is clear: the potential impact on the marketplace is significant. Based on our elaboration on the role of standards, and in particular Open Standards, in the ICT ecosystem we have addressed fundamental properties of Open Standards related to their desired effect in the marketplace, specifically to minimise risk and stimulate innovation in the market. In conclusion, we have clarified the concept of Open Standards and its effets on the broader IT-ecosystem, with specific emphasis on the effects for different stakeholder roles. We have presented an analytical device, the Open Standards pyramid, and illustrated how it can aid clarity to the discussions and effects for different stakeholder roles.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Aachen: G. Mainz Verlag , 2012. 227-240 p.
Series
The EURAS Board Series
Keyword [en]
Open Standard, innovation, competition, lock-in, stakeholder roles, lowering risk, increasing innovation activity
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Research subject
Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-6384ISBN: 978-3-86130-337-4 ISBN: 3-86130-337-X OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-6384DiVA: diva2:551564
Conference
EURAS 2012 The 17th EURAS Annual Standardization Conference, 18-20 June, 2012, Košice, Slovakia
Available from: 2012-09-11 Created: 2012-09-11 Last updated: 2015-12-29Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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