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IT Standards: An Effective Protocol for Governments and Regulators


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Title: IT Standards: An Effective Protocol for Governments and Regulators

IT Standards An Effective Protocol for
Governments and Regulators
John Venator, President and CEO, CompTIA
USA Michael Mudd Director of Public Policy,
Asia - Pacific CompTIA
Interoperable ICT Systems Seminar Bangkok,
Thailand Ay 30th 2007
  • Who Is CompTIA
  • What eGovernment needs to succeed
  • What the ICT Industry does for standards
  • Choosing standards for effective eGovernment
  • 3 principles for IPR, Trade and Growth
  • A roadmap forward
  • Some conclusions

A community of communities
Who is CompTIA
  • Inclusive
  • Members from major industry markets, representing
    all in the IT industry Hardware Software
    Telecommunications IT Services
  • Established in 1982 with just four member
    companies, CompTIA now has more than 20,000
    members in 102 countries
  • Corporations and Not-for-profit organizations/
    Schools, Community Colleges and
    Universities/government partnerships
  • 85 are small to medium enterprises (SMEs)
  • Effective
  • Industry driven through members cornerstone
  • CompTIA advances the interests of the IT industry
    through public policy initiatives by actively
    engaging government policy makers
  • Global
  • Worlds largest vendor-neutral provider of open IT
    training certifications
  • Successful track record of collaboration and
    facilitation of global standards
  • 14 offices on six continents - including in Asia
    since 1999

Who is CompTIA
CompTIA has members from the entire spectrum of
the IT industry including Hardware Software
Telecommunications IT Services
Earthweb Eastman Kodak Entrust
Inc ePresence Exide Electronics Group FileNet
Fujitsu Computer GE Information Global
Knowledge Network Guru Labs gtslearning Hewlett-Pa
ckard Co. iGeneration Imaging 501 IMNET
Systems InaCom Corp. Information Technology
(ITMI) Ingram Micro Inc. Intel Kofax Imaging
Products Lava Systems Learning Centers, Inc.
Microsoft Motorola New Horizons Novell NTT
Data Odyssey Development Optical Laser Optika
Imaging Systems PaperClip Software RSA Security Ricoh
Corp. SmartForce Sun Microsystems Sybex, Inc.
TAC Tandy/Radio Shack TechData Corp.
Technology Service Toshiba America US West Wave
Technologies VeriSign Xerox Corporation
_at_doc 3Com Access Graphics Adaptec Course
Technology Apple Inc Autodesk ATT Internet
Services Bell Howell Bluebird Systems Canon,
USA Cisco Comark CompuCom Systems Inc. CompUSA
ComputerWorld Cornerstone Imaging
Cprod CSK Data Train Institute Diamond Head
Software Document Technologies
Where is CompTIA
Düsseldorf Germany
Dubai / Middle East
Brussels EU
Beijing China
Washington DC USA
Chicago, HQ USA
New Delhi India
CompTIAs International Offices - Membership -
Hong Kong China
Sao Paulo Brazil
Johannesburg South Africa
Pre BI - Post AI
  • Silo Age is BI - Before the Internet
  • The Morse telegraph and then Bell phone system
    1st interoperable ICT systems
  • Commercially developed openly available
  • Open Age is AI - After the Internet
  • eGovernment is an AI challenge
  • Commercial IT companies totally aligned with
    connectivity via interoperability core to eGov
    success in the post silo world

Citizens want eGov on their terms
  • 24 x 7
  • Any device mobile or fixed
  • Any software
  • Minimal training ease of use
  • Minimal or no cost (Citizens are after all paying
    for government already!)
  • Security
  • Speed
  • Egov must adopt standards that will facilitate
    the above

Industry Specifications are everywhere
  • Industry actively creating IT standards since
    Morse 1844
  • ITU came out of Nations needs for a standard
    telegraph protocol
  • Created groups such as IEEE, ETSI, ECMA as well
    as ANSI
  • EIDX (Electronics Industry Data Exchange,) a part
    of CompTIA
  • see http// for E business
  • Banks rely on SWIFT as the secure messaging
  • EDI (EDIFACT/X120)
  • Over time, specifications may become standards
  • Industry creates standards that are sustainable
  • BUT no guarantee of success-
  • VHS Betamax ( done deal!)
  • Metric vs. Imperial (ongoing!!)
  • Blue Ray vs. HD-DVD ( just started!)
  • BUT the IT ecosystem is changed and advanced in
    each case
  • Leading to Standards

Adoption of a specification to a standard the
innovation process
  • The Idea gt - From Industry or Academia
  • Prototype gt - The creative moment (IPR)
  • Beta gt - The test of innovation
  • Roll out gt - does the market want it?
  • Early adoption gt - will the market use it?
  • Critical mass gt - The undefined measure of
  • National/International industry consortium gt -
    Critical Peer Review
  • ISO/ITU open standards Org gt - International
    Technical Review
  • GLOBAL STANDARD gt - Availability to all on
    RAND or RF terms
  • Leading to Interoperability

Why does the ICT Industry want (and need)
Technology Standards?
  • The ICT industry makes larger and larger
    contributions to world
  • economies
  • In 30 years ICT equaled the same employee base
    as the Auto
  • Industry did in 100 years
  • 28 of manufacturing exports in East Asia are
    ICT goods
  • Software is embedded now in all ICT products and
  • Standards enable economies of scale
  • Asian economies are recognizing that ICT is a
  • major value add to their outputs
  • Japan, Korea and Taiwan are established hardware
  • India in software ad services and increasingly ,
    China, Malaysia, Philippines and in the near
    future, Thailand and Vietnam
  • Governments often represent the largest single
    investor in software
  • assets- 22.5B global market
  • Standards enable interoperability vital for
    eGovernment to work
  • IDC Estimate

Adoption of standards
  • A major contributor to interoperability is
    voluntary open specifications - leading to
    standards development - plus voluntary open
    standards adoption
  • Open specification/standards development -
    without significant adoption of the resultant
    standards - does nothing in the effort to achieve
  • Standards are dynamic and must evolve to take
    advantage of technology advances
  • If the industry is not fully engaged in the
    standards setting process, standards will suffer,
    as technology advances are not integrated into
    the process
  • This is a global challenge as post Internet IT
    being digital, knows no borders

Technology Neutrality
  • Not aligned to a country
  • Not aligned to a company
  • Core to public acceptance and use
  • Adaptable to various business models
  • Needed to implement eGovernment
  • Technology Neutrality enables Interoperability
  • Interoperability of necessity, encompasses both
    technical specifications and standards including
    open standards

Interoperability defined
  • The ability of software and hardware on
    different machines or devices from different
    vendors to
  • share data
  • Increasingly - anywhere at anytime
  • I want my MTV/ My I Pod/ My Cellphone to speak
    to each other seamlessly
  • I just want it to work!
  • interacting electronically with government is
    the same

Alternative models to promote
  • Open Standards
  • Voluntary private sector initiatives, e.g. WS-I,
    W3C, OASIS
  • Government specification, e.g. European
    Interoperability Framework
  • Private - Public multi stakeholder partnerships
  • Organic (market driven) Standards
  • the emergence of a dominant software
    specification can often induce widespread
    compatibility and therefore interoperability -
    more forcefully than standards developed through
    cooperative processes, e.g. PDF.
  • The market will respond - e.g. recent commitment
    by Microsoft to support Linux via agreements with
    other companies Novell to support Open XML in
    their Linux offering Jan 2007 IBM offering an
    OSS and proprietary software option objective
  • Governments need to choose a combination that
    will suit their particular needs and of their

Choice is Paramount
  • Effective competition is a prerequisite for an
  • effective and diversified IT market.
  • Competition drives producers to be efficient,
    innovate and provide what consumers want and
    will pay for.
  • A policy that discriminates against industry
    developed standards will, in effect exclude 85
    percent of IT channel business activity.
  • Markets, (i.e. Citizens) not government
    mandates, determine the best technology as they
    must justify the investment.

Choose technology on the basis of sound economic
  • IT procurement by public or large private
    entities must be based on a systematic and
    rational decision-making process such as
    cost-benefit analysis (CBA)
  • Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is a sound
    methodology for evaluating ICT assets investment
    costs in CBA.
  • TCO is the term used to describe not only the
    costs of purchasing ICT products and services,
    but all the hidden costs associated with using
    ICT as well, including planning, design,
    installation, configuration, maintenance and
  • Citizens will also make a decision based on ease
    of use of eGov services - and relative utility-
    as well as cost
  • Standards and specifications therefore must
    satisfy the needs of all users government and
    citizens to enable eGov to take off

Role of Intellectual Property
  • IPRs are the asset in the trading of
    information technology in the
  • knowledge economy
  • Intellectual property rights (IPRs) exist to
    promote innovation
  • and creativity
  • Patents for example make transparent the
    technology that enables interoperability between
    competitive technologies
  • The act of creation has a cost (e.g. RD
    expenditure to invent.)
  • The owner may choose to give it away (RF) or
    licence (RAND) in fact most RF apps do have
    conditions e.g. GPL for OSS
  • The limited and temporary monopoly (ownership)
    over creation allows the owner to recoup the cost
    of creation.
  • The commercial software industry (both large and
    small companies)
  • continues to generate the largest number of
    patents of any industry
  • globally Recent Examples think of Skype,
  • Some examples of industry developed IT standards
    UMTS some choose patents and make them
    available on a RAND basis or on an RF basis its
    their choice, but to enable take up, they have to
    share IP.

  • Technology Review Patent Scorecard

  • Standards are important, but standards alone
    don't make things interoperable
  • The Interop Vendor Alliance
  • Twenty-five companies, including Sun
  • BEA Systems, CA XenSource and Novell,
  • Advanced Micro Devices, Microsoft, Business
  • Citrix Systems, NEC Corporation of America,
  • Network Appliance, Quest Software have agreed
  • to join the Interop Vendor Alliance
  • Objective to ensure different vendors products
    will work
  • together

eGov adoption - three objectives
  • Technology Neutrality
  • maintains choice lowers prices
  • Encompass Industry Standards
  • enables Interoperability and consumer
  • Foster Strong Intellectual Property Protection
  • enables sustainable development to create
    lasting value
  • A Model Public Policy Framework based on these
    three objectives would have as principles

Principle 1 Technology
  • Avoid policies that would mandate or prefer
    specific technology solutions, standards
    implementations, platforms or business models.
  • Ensure that government policies aimed at
    promoting interoperability remain objective and
  • Procurement acquisitions should incorporate
    objective and measurable criteria

Principle 2 Industry Driven Standards
  • Allow industry to lead in promoting
    interoperability including developing voluntary,
    industry-driven, consensus-based standards.
  • Ensure that government interoperability programs
    are based on a clear set of publicly accessible
    technical standards.
  • Provide a legal framework and regulatory
    framework that supports an industry-driven open
    standards process. Where government is the
    representative to a standards setting body,
    ensure there is a strong consultative process in
    place open to all potential industry
  • Let the market work in the standards setting

Principle 3 Foster Strong Intellectual Property
  • Support the role of intellectual property both in
    promoting and developing technology, and in
    promoting interoperability.
  • Avoid policies that impose compulsory licensing
    requirements in procurement practices.
  • Respect IPR and encourage this as a tool for
  • IPR will enable SMEs to create their own
    sustainable revenue streams by licensing/cross
    licensing or sales
  • Leading to creation of value think Skype and MP3

In Conclusion Some thoughts
  • Governments exist to serve their citizens
  • For eGov to work economies must give their
    citizens choices
  • Citizens will choose their technology based on
    ease of use and relative utility for their needs,
    as well as cost.
  • Government needs to use technology that can
    connect with its citizens for eGovt inclusion -
    including mobile and disabled citizens access
  • Interoperability is paramount
  • So governments, the private sector and civil
    society should be able to choose their technology
    from multiple sources on terms that suit them
    the market will respond with products
  • Policies that give the widest possible choice
    best serve both citizens and industry -
    enhancing the development of both the local
    economy and exports, all the time lowering prices
    - and reducing the digital divide

In Conclusion / 2
  • To enable the uptake of eGov initiatives and to
    encompass an innovative knowledge society,
    Technology Neutral standards including open and
    commercially developed standards are vital
  • These standards lead to Interoperability between
  • Policies that limit the available market for ICT
    solutions subvert sound internationally
    recognized economic, trade and IPR principles.
  • The ICT Industry commits millions of annually
    and thousands of employees towards technical
    specifications and standards development
  • CompTIA has commissioned a white paper on A
    Model Public Policy Interoperability Framework
    that examines standards as part of the goal of
    interoperability see

Thank You !
  • For further information and a copy of our white
  • please contact
  • Michael Mudd
  • Director, Public Policy, Asia - Pacific
  • CompTIA
  • 222. Shui On Centre 2/f
  • 6- 8 Harbour Road,
  • Hong Kong SAR
  • China