Landy and Mastrobattista (2008) define standards as “… technical specifications that are designed to promote interchange, communication and commonality in products.” Standards are essential to everyday work and there are many reasons for a company to choose to participate in standards. Landy and Mastrobattista (2008) offer excellent reasons for companies to abide by standards, such as becoming an early adopter in the field (Catching the Wave), becoming a leader in the field (Leader’s Wave), providing input into the creation of the standard (Steering the Technology), and getting an early jump on the competition with marketing (Market Insights).
The big question is why industries spend money, energy and time in pursuit of agreeing upon standards that takes months and years to document when the technology is typically outdated six months after its release. The Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) answers this question and illustrates why their company takes a lead in developing and documenting standards in their industry even if the technology is outdated by the time they finish the process. The DEC believes that participation in the standardization process and using the information gathered provides the company with a valuable business advantage in product planning and sales (Hurd, 1998). They receive a competitive edge over their opponents by participating in standards which could lead to thousands of dollars or more.
Hurd, John. (1998). Why does digital participate in standards? Computer, 31(6) 95-103.
Landy, G., and Mastrobattista, A. (2008). The IT / Digital Legal Companion: A Comprehensive Business Guide to Software, IT, Internet, Media and IP Law. Syngress: Burlington. ISBN-13: 978-1597492560