3 Ways Technology Standards Can Benefit Your Organization

By Saving Time and Resources, Strengthening Competitive Positioning, and Enabling Your Organization to Influence Technology Development



Why Should Organizations be Involved in Technology Standards Development?

Companies and other organizations devote a great deal of time, money, and effort to develop new technologies and to apply existing ones in new ways, in order to create new products and services that can lead to lucrative business opportunities.

However, a company’s own technology development efforts aren’t necessarily enough. Consider a company which allocates significant resources to developing a great new product. Those resources may end up wasted if a competitor introduces a similar offering for customers because it interoperates with existing systems more readily, or because the competitive design also takes into account broader technology trends that will become impactful in a few short years, to name just two possibilities.

Standards can help companies address such challenges. Developed collaboratively by experts from industry, academia, and governments, and other types of organizations, standards provide recommendations, best practices, and other guidance on the use of existing and emerging technologies.

Furthermore, by participating in standards development, companies can help shape and capitalize on the future of technology, which helps to reduce development time and cost, and enables participants to gain insights to better align their products and services with industry opportunities. Businesses also learn ways to broaden access to their offerings in new markets and geographies, to assure compliance with commercial and other requirements, and to enhance their brand by building trust with customers and other stakeholders.

In short, standards can help businesses achieve their objectives better, faster, and at less cost. Below are some examples of how they can benefit your organization.

1) Standards Save Time and Resources

Creating new technology products and services can be costly and time-consuming. Standards address functionality, interoperability, and market requirements, thus serving as a foundational framework which enables businesses to focus their efforts on creating tailored, impactful solutions. A standards-based approach to product development can help your business gain operational efficiencies and produce better products and services, while also reducing time-to-market.

Take the example of wireless connectivity, a complex, continually evolving area of technology. Since its birth in 1999, the IEEE 802.11™ standard has evolved into an all-encompassing standards series that enables robust, reliable, and affordable wireless connectivity for all manner of devices. The IEEE 802.11 standards have driven the growth of the overall market and has created an entire ecosystem that has benefitted diverse businesses for decades.

The use of best practices in the planning and design stage is also important when looking to sell into markets where safety and regulations are critical, such as automotive, medical device manufacturing, aerospace, chemical processing, and others. They enable compliance with commercial and other requirements, and specify uniform, well-understood conformity assessment goals and practices.

For example, as more companies join the race to develop self-driving or autonomous vehicles (AVs), a clear, widely agreed-upon set of assumptions for how AVs should behave in real-world situations is needed to give stakeholders a common perspective to focus their efforts and help ensure that time, effort, and resources won’t be applied to development projects that ultimately won’t be implemented.

To provide such an agreed-upon model for safety evaluations of AVs, various auto manufacturers, chip designers, mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) providers, and other industry leaders are working on a new standard project IEEE P2846™. Jack Weast, Chair of the IEEE P2846 Working Group, said that this is “a technology-neutral safety standard that scholars, engineers, automakers, industry representatives, and regulatory bodies can align around as a universally accepted basis for AV safety.”

2) Standards Can Help Position Your Business for Success in Global Markets

In today’s global marketplace, products, and services may be used by consumers from different regions, countries, and cultures. Small but important variances can have a significant effect on the desirability and usefulness of products to these different markets.

Standards, though, are global in nature. They support global commerce and reduce barriers to international trade by setting universal recommendations and guidelines that bridge the gaps across regions. As standards increasingly serve as the basis of technical requirements for international trade, businesses and organizations that adopt relevant standards or which are involved in standards development are able to demonstrate compliance with the world’s varying regulatory requirements.

Standards development projects are often led by experts and stakeholders from around the world who represent local market needs, technology trends, and cultural backgrounds.

Therefore, organizations that participate in standards development can readily apply these global perspectives in their own product designs and business strategies to better meet the varied needs of customers, helping them stay ahead of the competition in global markets.

For example, online gaming is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing industries, with an estimated $180 billion in revenues in 2020 expected to nearly double by 2026. This rapidly developing industry, however, faces a major challenge to continued growth and innovation – the need for technical standards to address critical issues such as connectivity, latency, interoperability, security, copyright protection, among others.

To help enable a safe and sustainable environment for online gaming, global organizers and service providers in game development, operations, and publishing formed a Standards Committee and two Working Groups at IEEE SA. By driving standards development, participating businesses and organizations gain a first-hand view of global market needs and proactively position themselves as leaders in the industry.

3) Standards Can Help Shape Your Industry and Steer the Market

When standards don’t yet exist for a certain product or application, participating in standards development gives your business insight into future technology directions; helps you extend your reach into that market and take the best course of action for your company; and can give you a competitive edge.

For example, the overall objective of IEEE P2846 is to focus on safe, scalable driverless transportation that will significantly reduce road collisions globally. This standard can help build trust in AV safety among consumers, and in doing so can also help to shape expectations and drive market adoption for AVs.

Automotive OEMs, their Tier 1 suppliers, developers of autonomous driving/advanced driver assistance (ADS/ADAS) systems, MaaS providers and other stakeholders will benefit from the clear understanding of regulatory frameworks and the technological goals the standard will spell out, and thus can better focus on what needs to be done to achieve them.

Participation in standards development also benefits broader ecosystems. Phil Wennblom, past member of the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA) Board of Governors and past Chair of the IEEE SA Corporate Advisory Group, noted that standards are developed by collaborations among groups of people from all company sizes, and that such diversity benefits both corporate goals and the global marketplace.

“Participating (in standards development) is a way of understanding where the industry is headed, what’s coming next. It’s also a way to influence that direction. It enables a company to contribute to making better standards they may implement in their products,” Wennblom said.

Get Engaged with IEEE SA

By demonstrating compliance to standards and participating in standards development activities, businesses and organizations like yours could benefit from reduced costs; faster time-to-market; technical and market insights which can yield a competitive edge; and an enhanced ability to influence the direction of target markets.

We welcome you to join IEEE SA as an entity or organizational member. IEEE SA Entity Membership invites globally diverse participation from companies and organizations of all sizes, affording participants amplified influence in standards projects and governance. As a member, you can take advantage of unlimited balloting privileges, eligibility for leadership roles, extensive networking opportunities, and more.

Join today and work alongside some of the world’s most innovative companies and organizations dedicated to raising the world’s standards for the benefit of industry, society, and humanity.

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