Software's Future Depends on Standards

A recently released study by IDC states that 70 percent of the respondents agreed that the future of software depends on standards. However, the survey also revealed that a number of concerns regarding technology standardization currently exist in the market. Sandra Rogers, director for IDC's Web Services and Integration Software service, says there are a couple of things about the 105-participant survey that surprised her: "I think the one thing that surprised me...was that there was such a lack of business people able to speak on standards. And even more surprising was talking to IT professionals who had a real inability to recall standards." Once the standards were recalled there were significant concerns surrounding the amount of time it takes to define standards and the perception that there may be too many competing standards. Still, there was an overall positive opinion in the market regarding how standards bodies are being run. "The concerns expressed by survey participants all speak to the complexity of creating industry-wide, agreed-upon standards," Rogers says. "Perhaps increased education and hands-on involvement from users can work to dispel some of these growing concerns, and assure standards truly meet market requirements. That is why vendors need to be careful that their customers understand what they are speaking about." Many businesses have invested large sums of money and resources towards integrating and maintaining their systems to ensure future interoperability. The bulk of respondents said the most important reason to adopt standards was for the future compatibility of software, but just 25 percent of survey respondents indicated they are only evaluating standards as a new computing or architectural model. Another 25 percent of respondents indicated that they currently have no plans of pursuing standards. Those with no plans cited lack of resources, budget, and low priority for their organizations as reasons for not investing in technology or architecture changes based on specific technology standards.
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