Are The Standards Serving Their Intended Purpose?
There are many advantages to being a blogger. I don’t have to write in full sentences. Or I can get away with a run-on sentence, or misplaced comma. But, now that I have been doing this for a while, I am finding that people rely on me to “ponder” on their thoughts and ideas. “So, Stefanie, now that you are a blogger, do you think we are getting away from the standards?” That was the question posed to me at a trade show last week. At the time, I was thinking about a lot of things, but not about our industry standards and how we are supporting them. But suddenly, I do find myself pondering this topic. We have councils in place, supported by key executives from industry leading companies, to choose best practices that everyone should follow – for what reason? My counterpart suggested that the reason is to make sure that there is cross compatibility – if all the products you utilize in your network meet industry standard, it shouldn’t matter who manufactures them, your system should work. So, as manufacturers begin to create “warrantied” systems – where all the parts need to be manufactured by them and installed by a certified contractor – does it negate the initial purpose of setting these standards? Or how about the proprietary technologies and connectorization techniques being developed by manufactures – does that change your thinking?
My personal thoughts: we need the standards as a benchmark to verify what we are getting will really work. It is necessary to have these in place. On a rainy day, it might be nice to know I could grab any product made by anyone and it would work, but in the end, I am a bit picky, and will always go for the warranty. I like knowing that each component of a system has been rigorously tested to work together – everyone knows just how cranky I can get if my computer stops working for a few moments of time or I can’t get to the internet! I don’t think we have abandoned the purpose at all.