October 14 marks World Standards Day. The United Nations IEC, ISO and ITU organizations (with whom the Object Management Group® (OMG®) has always had Publicly Available Specification, or PAS status) celebrate this day by recognizing the efforts of a worldwide community that develops international standards for a wide range of industries and technologies. OMG also recognizes this day because it has led the way in drafting technology standards since 1989.
As our world becomes more connected, there is a growing requirement for standardized technology. Standards form the fundamental building blocks for product development by establishing consistent protocols that can be universally understood and adopted. This helps drive compatibility and interoperability, and simplifies product development and speeds time-to-market. Standards also make it easier to understand and compare competing products. As standards are globally adopted and applied in many markets, they also fuel international trade.
Standards help transform the way we live, work and communicate which is echoed in the theme of this year’s World Standards Day – “International Standards and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
Standards spur the development and implementation of technologies that enable interoperability between the systems and devices we rely on. We refer to this connected world as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), comprised of everything from medical devices, autonomous vehicles, energy grids, to factory floor sensors and more.
OMG has pioneered industrial IoT standards that: link information across connected machines, enterprise systems, and mobile devices; share threat information and security attacks across different devices, IT systems, and protocols; define ways for devices manufactured by thousands of companies to operate safely and reliably; and analyze and manage the structural quality of IT software to prevent breaches caused from violations of good architectural and coding practice. This is all enabled through standards such as: Data-Distribution Service™, threat modeling, Structured Assurance Case Metamodel™ and automated source code metrics.
Our mission is to not only develop standards but also to support communities that embrace standards, such as the Consortium for IT Software Quality™, which drafts metrics to measure software size and quality and the Industrial Internet Consortium® (IIC™), whose members build testbeds based on business innovation strategies and software frameworks. These testbeds help members understand how their industries will be disrupted by emerging technologies, such as IIoT, in a water management system in India, a smart city system in Ireland, a manufacturing and production system in Germany, etc. They are also generating requirements for new standards. From this testbed work, OMG has opened the process for a new standard for the manufacturers of sensors to be able to publish the required interpretation of the data that they produce via an Electronic Data Sheet. It is called the Simple Electronic Notation for Sensor Reporting specification, or SENSR. This is the first OMG-brand standard that originated from the IIC testbeds, but I know it will be the start of many. As long as the complexity of technology systems remains, we’ll continue to rely on standards to help abstract that complexity.