As digitalization progresses, our world is becoming increasingly networked and interconnected. This is leading to greater convergence of technologies across many different areas and applications. Technologies that were originally outside our industrial sector are gaining in importance for our stakeholders. This also means that we need to step up our standardization activities across disciplines and sectors. We need to work with new groups of stakeholders with whom we have never worked before. The IEC is currently widely recognized as an international standardization platform that includes almost all stakeholders. Nevertheless, we must recognize that standardization activities for many of the internet technologies expected in the future are often carried out within industry forums and consortia. To ensure that we remain relevant for our industry, we need to find ways of reflecting the needs of our stakeholders in these organizations.
In addition, many of the IEC/TCs are still following a product-based approach. Manufacturers, however, are focused – both now and in the future – more on systems than on products and they need a coherent portfolio of standards. Different platforms will inevitably lead not only to fragmentation of standards/specifications, but also to increased difficulty in managing the complexity created by the systems. To meet market requirements, product-oriented IEC silos must be dismantled and all IEC experts must be integrated into new structures that support a systems approach.
At its General Meeting in Frankfurt, the IEC was therefore encouraged to become the hub of a cross-discipline moderation platform that brings together all its internal and external experts with experts from forums, consortia and research institutes and also organizes standardization activities for our stakeholders outside the organizational boundaries of the IEC in standardization organizations, forums and consortia.
Timely market launches are a core demand of industry, which is why the relevant standards must be made available as early as possible. Therefore, the IEC must always be aware of the latest technology trends and systematically identify them at an early stage.