Nick Allott and I were at the first Digital Agenda assembly in Brussels this week and it was indeed an interesting experience.
Firstly, The European Commission and Neelie Kroes should be commended for the Digital Agenda program and hopefully this program will become a channel for long term discussion on policy issues
The interoperability and Standardization workshop had the agenda:
This session will discuss two different subjects related to standards and interoperability.
Firstly, how can public authorities ensure that best use is made of existing standards in public procurement in order to avoid lock-in into proprietary technology and enhance interoperability (Digital Agenda action 23)?
Secondly, how to boost interoperability (and innovation) in the absence of formal standards, e.g. through the licensing of interoperability information (Digital Agenda action 25)?
Making use of standards in ICT systems will enhance interoperability and therefore stimulate innovation and lead to more choice and better products for IT consumers.
My initial comments were:
a) The definition and agenda for the workshop defined the discussion – ie the emphasis on public procurement and lockin are important but are still only a subset of the overall Open standards discussion. While this is a limitation of the format and the time, the agenda sets the stage and the output as well
b) The experiences of the Swedish, Italian and Dutch governments were interesting because they were based on real experiences
Most importantly, most of the discussion centered on last decade’s battles. The next decades will be determined by a completely different paradigm for example: considering Webinos – Why don’t we use Open source as a collaboration mechanism instead of Open standards? Ie standards are slow. If you wanted to get collaboration, you could share a common code base and depending on the OS license, you could still maintain proprietary extensions
In other words, I would have liked to see the issue of standards linked to collaboration and also innovation
Ajit Jaokar is the founder of the London based publishing and research company futuretext focussed on emerging Web and Mobile technologies.
In 2009-2010, Ajit was nominated as part of the Global Agenda Council on the Future of the Internet by the world economic forum. Ajit chairs Oxford University’s Next generation mobile applications panel and conducts a course on Web 2.0, Social networking, Mobile Web 2.0 and LTE services at Oxford University. Ajit’s thinking is widely followed in the industry and his blog, the OpenGardens Blog, which was recently rated a top 20 wireless blog worldwide.
Media appearances include BBC – Newsnight – 3phone launch; CNN money; BBC digital planet. Ajit’s latest books are Open Mobile, Social Media Marketing and Mobile Web 2.0. His recent talks and forthcoming talks include: MobileWorld Congress(2011, 2009, 2008, 2007); CTIA 2011, CEBIT 2009; Keynote at O Reilly Web20 expo (April 2007);Keynote at Java One; European Parliament – Brussels – (Electronic Internet Foundation); Stanford University’s Digital visions program; MIT Sloan;Fraunhofer FOKUS ; University of St. Gallen (Switzerland)
His consulting activities include working with companies to define value propositions across the device, network, Web and Social networking stack spanning both technology and strategy. He has worked with a range of commercial and government organizations globally including The European Union, Telecoms Operators, Device manufacturers, social networking companies and security companies in various strategic and visionary roles Ajit lives in London, UK, but has three nationalities (British, Indian and New Zealander) and is proud of all three. He is currently doing a PhD on Internet of Things, Privacy and Reputation systems at UCL in London. Ajit is a fan of animation especially Tom and Jerry, Tintin and Asterix and likes the music of ZZ Top and other rock bands.
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