Setting ICT Standardisation priorities for the year: The Rolling Plan for ICT Standardisation 2019

The European Commission (EC) has released the latest edition of the annual Rolling Plan for ICT Standardisation, which identifies areas in which ICT Standardisation can support objectives set by EU policies in four broader thematic areas: key enablers and security, societal challenges, innovation for the digital single market, and sustainable growth.

The Rolling Plan is developed by the European commission and the Multi Stakeholder Platform on ICT Standardisation (MSP). In addition to representatives from EU and EFTA member states, the MSP is comprised of European and international standard developing organisations (eg CEN/CENELEC, ETSI, ISO, IEC), stakeholder organisations (eg AGE, ETUC, ANEC) and business associations, among which DIGITAL SME is an actively participating member on behalf of Small Business Standards.

In total, the rolling plan puts forward 170 actions across the four thematic areas. In addition, the Commission has identified 5 priority domains, for which ICT Standardisation is most urgent. These are 5G, cloud, cybersecurity, big data and the internet of things (IoT), all of which notably are grouped under the key enablers and security thematic area.

Key enablers and security

Besides the key priorities mentioned above, and continuing other domains from previous annual rolling plans, such as e-Privacy or accessibility of ICT product and services, Artificial Intelligence and a European Global Navigation Satellite System (EGNSS) have been added.

Societal challenges

The impact of digital technologies on health, education and government has long been recognised, and for instance been addressed in the 2017 Tallinn declaration. This section continues the previous work on subjects like e-Health, e-Government, and e-Skills and e-Learning.

Innovation for the digital single market

The Rolling Plan 2019 retains a strong focus on standardisation efforts to be undertaken in the area of digitising market processes. E-invoicing, e-procurement, payment methods, such as card and mobile payment, as well as standardisation of Fintech, Regtech and distributed digital ledger technologies are grouped under this heading.

Sustainable growth

Digital technologies have an increasing role in addressing environmental challenges, such a climate change, and the Rolling Plan pays heed to this by covering topics like smart grids and smart metering, intelligent transport systems, or robotics and autonomous systems. This section was expanded in the 2019 edition of the Rolling plan by the two domains Water Management Digitisation and Single European Sky.

The Rolling Plan notes the horizontal nature of the role of ICT across all economic sectors. It states that a first wave of ICT based convergence in the 1990s led both to a blurring of the boundaries of the telecommunication, computer and broadcasting sectors, as well as an accelerated market segmentation. This first wave is considered to largely have transformed consumer markets.

A second wave of ICT convergence, based on the integration of distributed processing of information and operation of equipment, is expected to impact industry, critical infrastructure and business-to-business (B2B) markets, according to the Rolling Plan. Significant changes to the activities of all sectors, from manufacturing and services over administration to customers, are to be expected.

DIGITAL SME is looking forward to further improving European standardisation efforts through our continued engagement with the Rolling Plan and the Mutli-stakeholder Platform on ICT Standardisation.