A security expert has called on standards bodies working in the area of ecommerce to concentrate on solving users' real word business problems rather than on improving technology for technology's sake.
Too many existing standards have been created without paying enough attention to the real world issues they were developed to solve, said Ian Lloyd, director of security and ecommerce at the OpenGroup, an organisation that brings suppliers and buyers together.
Speaking at the Computer Security, Audit and Control conference in London this week, Lloyd said there are already too many differing standards from various industry and government organisations for users to digest when making buying decisions, either for business or for home use.
"It is imperative that we sort this out," said Lloyd. "The customer base hasn't the time to check all the differing standards when making buying decisions. It is all too easy to buy something and then find it clashes with other equipment."
Lloyd argued that standards are important in the development of ecommerce, particularly in reducing or eliminating financial risks through the use of electronic, rather than paper-based, contracts.
He called upon standards bodies to get advice from experts in what customers want, such as vendor marketing and business development staff, as well as their usual role of acting as a debate chamber on the technical merits of innovations.
"Technology should solve real world business problems, not create new ones along the way. We need to be sure that standards groups are solving business issues... I worry that some of our standards groups are too involved in their own specialist area of technology," said Lloyd.
Otherwise, he said, the rapid pace of development in the ecommerce sector would render the proposed standards redundant.
"By the time most of us buy a product, the next generation of it is nearing release," he said.
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