7th International Conference on the Quality of Information and Communications Technology

Standardization and Certification in ICT

Foreword by the Chair

Knut Blind (TU Berlin / Fraunhofer FOKUS, Erasmus University, Germany)

Standards have several functions. Its suitability to assure compatibility has attracted most attention both in industrial practice and academic research. However, standards are also an efficient instrument to realize a high level of quality in market for products and services. The quality function has been addressed especially for food and other consumer related products and – more recently – services. In the area of ICT the quality function of standards has been in general rather neglected. However, the quality issue in ICT covering both hard- and software needs a higher level of attention due to the following major trends. Currently, we observe more and more actors and players in the ICT markets. First, companies from the new emerging economies, like China and India, have developed to serious competitors to the established American, Japanese and European companies. Second, the value chain in the ICT industries has been further differentiated leading to more interfaces between a higher number of players. Due to the increase of actors at the supply side, the transparency both for intermediate users and final consumers is reduced and the information asymmetries between the supply and the demand side are increased. Consequently, efficient instruments to reduce these information asymmetries are needed. Standards and related certification schemes are means, which are driven by common efforts of suppliers of ICT hard- and software including the involvement of the user side. Therefore, standards should be more efficient than both regulatory initiatives of governmental institutions and approaches of single and mostly market dominating companies. Due to the effectiveness and efficiency of standards to solve quality problems in ICT markets numerous standardization consortia and fora have emerged in the last decade besides the existing formal standardization bodies like ITU and IEC at the international level and CENELEC and ETSI at the European level. This differentiation, fragmentation and even competition in the standardization landscape is a further challenge for all involved actors including public authorities, but also an interesting field for further academic research.

In contrast to the increased needs for standards in ICT and their relatively high effectiveness and efficiency compared to other instruments and approaches, the academic interest in standardization research is only slowly emerging. This is also reflected by the rather low number of submissions to the thematic track focusing on standardization and certification in ICT. Nevertheless, we are happy to have been able to include four papers into our thematic track, which address rather specific aspects of standardization and certification in ICT. In the first paper, Rout focuses on the evolving development of standardization and certification in process assessment. Besides this more general contribution, Harju et al. compare different software safety standards as the basis for certification in the very risky nuclear area. In addition to this special application, Biscoglio et al. present an approach to ambiguity analysis in safety-related standards. Finally, Barcellos et al. develop a conceptualization of software measurement especially in high maturity levels using a software measurement ontology. The variety of issues addressed in the papers reflects the broad relevance of standards in the ICT area, but is also only a starting point for more extensive and comprehensive research in the future.

Track Committee

Program Committee

  • Kai Jakobs, RWTH Aachen University
  • Stephan Gauch, TU Berlin


Chair: Ricardo J. Machado (U.Minho).

Time Title Authors
14:00-14:45 The evolving picture of standardisation and certification in process assessment Terence Rout (Griffith University)
14:45-15:30 Software safety standards for the basis of certification in the nuclear domain Hannu Harju, Lahtinen Jussi (VTT Technical Research Centre), Risto Nevalainen (Spinet ry.), Jukka Ranta (VTT Technical Research Centre) and Mika Johansson (Spinet ry.)
15:30-16:00 Coffee break
16:00-16:45 An Approach to Ambiguity Analysis in Safety-related Standards Isabella Biscoglio, Alessandro Coco, Mario Fusani, Stefania Gnesi and Gianluca Trentanni (ISTI-CNR)
16:45-17:30 Establishing a Well-founded Conceptualization about Software Measurement in High Maturity Levels Monalessa P. Barcellos (COPPE/UFRJ and UFES), Ricardo Falbo (UFES) and Ana Regina Rocha (COPPE/UFRJ)

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