Tag Archives: standardization

On the radio: Sutor, Munk and Gøtze

During Bob Sutor’s visit in Copenhagen (I posted the homemade video with Bob Sutor the other day), I had organised for him to be interviewed by DR (Danish Broadcasting Corporation, national public radio).

Tonight, DR brought the interview with Bob in their program Harddisken (third section), with an almost half-hour long theme about open standards hosted by Henrik Føhns. He had invited me in the studio for comments and debate with Marie Munk, Deputy Director General in the National IT and Telecom Agency. Bob apprears in edited and partly-translated form, but Marie and I were live on the air (and didn’t get to hear Bob!). So, it was there and then. Afterwards, of course – oh, why didn’t I say this and that, and all that, but it was also fun being live.
The whole show is now downloadable as a podcast — the Harddisken podcast-feed should reach 10.000 users, I was told, and is the third most used podcast of all in DR. Go get the podcast and help Harddisken become the most downloaded podcast! (of course, it’s in Danish, but the music is great ;-) – and Bob does get a bit of airtime, which of course is in English). About two-thirds into the MP3-file.

Since I cannot get DRs online radio and their fancy DRPlayer to work in my system (Mac OSX, Firefox) I chose not to link to those services here … but want to say to DR: Thank you for the podcasts!

Standards, Security, and Sectors

OASIS Adoption Forum

I’m going – are you? The third annual OASIS Adoption Forum is held in London on 27-29 November. The forum is themed Enabling Efficiency between Government, Business and the Citizen: Managing Secure Interactions in Sector Applications, and the list of presenters is very impressive. Also note that a Workshop on the State and Future of PKI has just been announced being part of the event. There will be sessions about adoption of OASIS standards such as SAML, XACML, and WS-Security.

OASIS Adoption Forum “seeks to educate and expose security leaders and professionals to the tools, standards and implementations that are transforming security interactions and relationships between citizens, businesses, governmental institutions and agencies. With increasing threats encompassing everything from hacking to identity theft, providing a secure environment must be a major objective for companies, governments, and organizations worldwide. The success you enjoy tomorrow depends on the security decisions you make today”.

Standards – A Critical Frontier for Research

The esteemed scholary journal MIS Quarterly has issued a Special Issue on Standard Making.

The introductory article by the editors Kalle Lyytinen and John Leslie King, Standard Making: A Critical Research Frontier For Information Systems Research, is freely available, as are abstracts for all articles, but you need access to a research database to get online access to full-text articles.

It is great to see the emerging scholary interest in standards. Kudos to Lyytinen and King for the initiative to the special issue, which I understand has been underway for several years.

The seven articles in the special issue cover a range of issues. In Lyytinen and King’s words:

… the accepted papers embody a rich variety of approaches to account for standardization processes and outcomes. Studies focusing on standard creation draw mainly upon institutional analyses, power analyses or collective action theory and associated action dilemmas (e.g. prisoner’s dilemma). Standards choice draws from economic theories of network effects, path dependency and switching costs. Standards impact embodies theories of how firms at the industry level can mitigate against increased transparency and lower barriers to entry created by open standards, as well as sociological analyses that try to explain why expected benefits of standardization orders did not emerge. The papers overall exhibit a significant variation in levels and unit of analysis, from individual firms to industries to types of standards or standardization outcome, and research methodology, from modeling and simulation to ethnographic studies of standardization processes. This shows how IS standardization research is likely to benefit from multiple research methodologies that also promote cross-pollination of ideas.

I found the paper by Jeffrey Nickerson and Michael zur Muehlen, The Ecology of Standards Processes: Insights from Internet Standard Making, particularly interesting. Nickerson and zur Muehlen analyze the emergence of new web service choreography standards, and trace a decade of workflow standardization processes as “a set of legitimizing moves where actors, ideas, and institutions constantly and randomly collide to create a standard, which is technically acceptable and institutionally ‘forceful’ for future adoption”. The analysis shows that “institutional ecologies associated with Internet standards are not driven solely by economic calculus but that other norms and values, like elegance, design spirit, or technical wizardry, count in making ecologies viable”.

Standard-making in the IS field involves at least 400 standards bodies and consortia, and many thousands standard-makers. In itself a huge ecosystem with many “species”. As the recent years’ developments around XML-based document formats show, there is a lot of competition within the ecosystem, or between various ecosystems.