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Crossroads of Information Technology Standarcis A Report Prepared by the Workshop Committee Crossroads of Information Technology Standards Board on Telecommunications and Computer Applications Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1990
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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for this report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of dis- tinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Samuel O. Thier is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and of advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered joints lay both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. This project is supported by agreements between the National Institute of Standards and Technology (43NANB007123) and the Defense Communications Agency (DDRO00001) and the National Academy of Sciences. Additional support for report preparation was provided by the General Services Administration. Available from: Board on Telecommunications and Computer Applications Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 Printed in the United States of America
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COMMITTEE ON STANDARI)S WORKSHOP PI^NNING FRED ANDREWS, Bell Communications Research, Inc., Chairman LAURIE BRII)E, Boeing Computer Services ROBERT KENEDI, Northern ~lecom Inc. MARVIN SIRBU, Carnegie Mellon University JOSEPH TIMKO, AT&T Bell Laboratories GARTH SALONER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology WILLIAM VANCE, International Business Machines Corporation Sponsor Representatives JAMES BURROWS, National Institute of Standards and Technology WARREN HAWRYLKO, Defense Communications Engineering Center Staff BENJAMIN J. LEON, Study Director LINDA L. JOYNER, Project Assistant . .. 1D
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BOARD ON TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND COMPUTER APPLICATIONS JORDAN J. BARUCH, Jordan Baruch Associates, Inc., Chairman GEORGE A. BEKEY, University of Southern California DANIEL BELL, American Academy of Arts and Sciences · HERBERT D. BENINGTON, UNISYS Defense Systems DAVID J. FARBER, University of Pennsylvania ,IAMEYi L. FLANAGAN, AT&T Bell Laboratories ROBERT Y. HUANG, TRW Space Technology Group (Retired) ROBERT L. MARTIN, Bell Communications Research, Inc. JOHN C. McDONALD, Continental Telecommunications, Inc. WILLIAM F. MILLER, SRI International JOEL MOSES, Massachusetts Institute of Technology HENRY M. RIVERA, Ginzburg, Feldman & Bess CHARLES STEPHENS, TRW Electronics & Defense Sector (Retired) ERIC E. SUMNER, AT&T Bell Laboratories GEORGE L. TURIN, University of California, Berkeley KEITH W. UNCAPHER, University of Southern California ANDREW J. VITERBI, University of California, San Diego WILLIS H. WARE, The RAND Corporation BARRY H. WHALEN, MCC Corporation Staff JOHN M. RICHARDSON, Director ANTHONY M. FORTE, Senior Staff Officer BENJAMIN J. LEON, Senior Staff Officer CARLITA M. PERRY, Staff Associate LINDA L. '}OYNER, Administrative Assistant 1V
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Preface A workshop, Crossroads of Information Technology Standards, was held on October 25-26, 1989, under the auspices of the Board on lblecom- munications and Computer Applications of the National Research Council. Sixty experts representing a cross section of industry, government, and academia participated in the workshop. The impetus for the workshop was a concern that the standards- setting process in the United States is excessively slow and cumbersome in the present era of international competition in high technology industries. Planning for the workshop was undertaken by a committee of six individuals with experience in diverse organizations. These organizations include a computer manufacturer, an interexchange carrier, a telecommu- nications equipment manufacturer, the information technology user orga- nization of an aerospace company, a computer systems research unit in the U.S. government, and the exchange carriers. This committee set the theme for the workshop, developed the list of invitees from senior executives of carrier, equipment provider, and user organizations, along with several academics who have studied the information technology industry. The planning committee developed a list of questions for consideration by participants before the workshop. Forty of the approximately 100 invitees submitted written responses to the questions in advance of the workshop. At the workshop, keynote addresses were made by executives from three corporations: International Business Machines Corporation, pre- senting the information technology manufacturers' point of view; General Motors, presenting the large user point of view; and Bell Communications v
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Research (Bellcore), presenting the telecommunications carrier point of view. In addition, presentations were made on standards developments in the European Community and in Japan. At the small group working sessions, the participants reached consensus on many issues. This report presents the conclusions and recommendations on which consensus was obtained along with a few points where opinions were split into two areas. Summaries of the presentations and of the written responses to the six questions are also included in this report. The general consensus of participants was that the voluntary standards process could be improved to meet the challenge of competitiveness. Recommendations are for actions by leaders of government and the- private sector. Fred Andrews Chairman vi
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Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Conclusions, 1 Recommendations, 2 A Sense of Urgency, 3 1 THE PROBLEM. . . WORKSHOP APPROACH . 3 SUMMARIES OF THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF INVI11ED SP EliKJERS --------- Robert M. White, 9 Peter R. Schneider, 10 Michael ~ Kaminski, 11 Irwin Dorros, 12 John P. Stern, 14 L. John Rankine, 15 4 VIEWS OF WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS........ Discussion of the Premeeting Survey Results, 17 Major Challenges, 23 Response to the Challenge, 26 . . V11 .5 .7 ............ 17
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APPENDIXES A Can Standards Help Industry in the United States to Remain Competitive in the International Marketplace? Irwut Dorros, 33 B An American in the Japanese Standards System. John ]? Stern, 43 C The European Communit~r-Will Standards Open or Close the Market in 1992? ~ John Redone, 59 ACRONYMS WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS . . . V111 . .67 ............ 69