Demystifying Standards Development and the Benefits of Involvement

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As Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology matures, the proliferation and adoption of standards has steadily picked up pace. The process follows a similar pattern in the lifecycle of technologies: First, when technology development is in its early stages, standards are not seen as important, or may even be thought to stymie innovation; Then, during early commercialization, individual suppliers focus on creating and preserving their own proprietary technology to lock customers in; Finally, when technology is substantially matured, customers begin to desire integration and interoperability to migrate from one system to another or engage in best-of-breed procurement. At the same time, suppliers seek to broaden their customer base. Many see automation technology suppliers standing at this late-stage juncture now, and the result has been increasing engagement with standards organizations and initiatives. To offer guidance on how companies can most effectively participate in standards development, the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) released a 30-page whitepaper aimed at demystifying the terminology surrounding different categories of standards as well as the various types of organizations involved in their development, creation, and dissemination. In addition, the whitepaper offers business cases for different forms of participation with standards development organizations and strategic advice on how to derive maximal benefit from involvement.

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