Session: Open Source & Standards: Two Sides of a Critical Coin

Open Source and standards have both long been mainstays of technology and software development. They have also sometimes shared an adversarial relationship, despite the fact that both are important for different reasons to software developers and business executives. At the heart of the conflict is generally the ‘speed of execution’ challenge. Standards bodies prefer to have everything mapped out cleanly to ensure interoperability testing works with different implementations. Open source projects prefer to define interoperability at the API level and move quickly with multiple iterations of the code.

However, industry efforts such as the Open Interconnect Framework and Open Cybersecurity Alliance (to name two) have realized that having both a standard definition and an open source reference implementation bring together the best of both worlds. Additionally, Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) like OASIS Open are increasingly paving the way to demystify open source for procurement environments that require or rely on standards (such as government, NGOs, and heavily regulated industries like financial services) by giving open source projects an easier path toward standardization.

This talk will describe the landscape of how open source and standards are currently working together but will also explore potential partnerships and other collaborative opportunities which are critically important in a world dealing with COVID-19. This shared crisis presents once-in-a-generation opportunities for standards and open source communities to help define and build the future of emergency management, e-learning, medical technologies and many other aspects of our daily lives. Determining how these elements work together effectively will be paramount to our common future.