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7.03 - IT Standards

The benefits of Information Technology standards

  • The need to exchange information between processes and people in the wider business community.
  • To take advantage of economies of scale / supply in the purchase and support of Information Systems
  • To facilitate the interchange of skilled personnel
  • To focus development effort on problems unique to the business that gains competitive advantage.
  • Reduce the re-invention of “wheels” and the repetition of learning effort.

The International Framework of Standards

The Open Systems Interconnection model shows how this can be achieved electronically in an ordered way.

The OSI Layers

The OSI Model

An application may be, for example:-

A CAD software package, a project management support system, a materials flow package, spreadsheet etc.

This model requires users to think about how they operate in the following areas:-

  • Hardware and software Interfacing
  • Languages and software development tools
  • Data management and data structures
  • User interfaces
  • Development rules for packages and systems
  • Standards for both contents and the interchange of information between systems.
  • Network Standards

Some Questions to be Addressed

  • Can we use international, national, de facto, business, industry group or proprietary standards, or develop our own?
  • Which of the key layers of the communications model(s) have we covered?
  • What are the problems and advantages of using proprietary standards?
  • Where we develop our own standards, what tools, languages, methodologies, and packages should we standardise on?
  • Where should data and or databases be placed and how should it be organised?
  • What standardised data structures are required?
  • How, within our organisation, do we, by cross-functional working groups, develop standards, guidelines, club rules, etc and make them work effectively?
  • Can we have standard graphical user interfaces that makes it easy for users to access information and that meets the requirements of all types of applications?
Further Reading