CEN-CENELEC Initiative on Digital Transformation: an opportunity for SMEs

CEN and CENELEC announced a new Strategic Plan for their Digital Transformation Initiative. This initiative is oriented to address the needs of the industry and the stakeholders for high quality standards, while keeping an eye on the increased use of digital solutions in many sectors of the European economy.

Advancement in technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence and robotics, the Internet of Things and high-performance computing is increasingly impacting the nature itself of work and society. CEN and CENELEC acknowledge this rapid transformation of the European industry as well as the adoption of pioneering technologies in the ICT and digital sector.

The CEN-CENELEC Digital Transformation Initiative includes a series of measures ranging from the online development of standards to a more flexible exploitation of standards’ content and customer-defined application. The rationale behind is to develop a user-friendly environment to ensure efficient collaboration among all the parties involved and ensure the timely delivery of standards to the market. Moreover, a decisive step is intended to be done for the adaptation of current standardisation processes to the newest digital business practices.

This will allow users to benefit from an agile and flexible system with updated interfaces, information delivery and communication channels. Partnerships with organisations that have proved in the past to be valuable to support the delivery of standardisation solutions to the industry, including national platforms and Public Private Partnerships (e.g. the Alliance for Internet of Things Innovation – AIOTI, the European Cyber Security Organisation – ECSO), are considered of strategic importance by CEN and CENELEC for the success of their initiative and will be further exploited. The ultimate goal is not only to meet industry needs for digital transformation, but also to enlarge the participation of experts in standardisation, especially by attracting new, digitally-aware stakeholders.

The digital transformation in standardisation is a long-waited development that might offer SMEs, user/consumers and researchers a good opportunity to elevate their technologies and processes to the status of European standards and, in general, facilitate the uptake of innovation by the market. SMEs can also significantly benefit from the initiative by contributing more easily and directly to the development of European standards. As a matter of fact, the initiative constitutes a decisive step in reducing of some of the barriers that have been identified among the most discriminatory for accessing standardisation, e.g. the amount of time required to follow standardisation activities as well as travel and subsistence costs.1

A webinar organised by CEN-CENELEC on 10 November 2017 will present the state-of-play about the Joint CEN-CENELEC Working Group ‘Online Standardization Platform’ under the Digital Transformation Initiative. The webinar will discuss possible models for the modernisation and digital transformation of standards development in CEN and CENELEC. Register through the 10-10 webinars’ 2017 calendar webpage.