According to the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, there are close to 800,000 global standards today, on just about every conceivable product, service, object, or endeavor. From shoes to aircraft to mammograms to cable TV to doorway heights to computer chipsinnumerable products and services rely in some way on shared technology and standards. Standards develop, evolve, and often are managed by standards organizations or bodies that simplify agreement on the standards among all interested parties.
Open standards apply to the IT community, to corporations, and to software vendors and suppliers. Everyone can benefit by this approach, which allows for flexibility and choice in the development and use of new technologies.