ISO Standards Process

ISO/IEC’s Working Group 21 is the organization responsible for the development of ISO/IEC SAM standards. It is convened by David Bicket.

How Standards Are Developed

David Bicket, convener of Working Group 21, provides an overview of how the standards-making process works, particularly for ISO/IEC, and with a particular focus on encouraging industry members to become involved:

“There are many standards organizations in the world, often with a particular focus based on subject or geographical area. Some of those which may be best known to those in the IT industry include the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). There are dozens more, including for specialist areas like USB connectors and PC Cards. Even the United Nations gets involved, e.g. with product classification codes.


“However, the organization with probably the greatest name recognition for standards is the International Organization for Standardization (‘ISO’) which deals with general international standards, of which the best known is probably ISO 9000 for Quality Management Systems. For international standards relating to computing, ISO has joined with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and these are all therefore called ISO/IEC standards, although they are still often commonly referred to as ISO standards. The best‐known ISO/IEC standard at present is probably ISO/IEC 27000 on Information Security Management Systems. Two other examples are ISO/IEC 20000 on Service Management, and ISO/IEC 19770‐1 on Software Asset Management Processes.”

This article is an edited version of an article written for IAITAM’s ITAK magazine. Read the edited version here: ISO/IEC Standards-Making Process. (David has generously allowed us to reproduce his article here. Please do not reuse it without asking David’s permission.)

Software Tagging Standards in the ISO/IEC Hierarchy

This page shows how the hierarchy of software tagging standards fit into the broader work of ISO/IEC standards development, and explains more about the timelines for standards development.

Benefits of Standards

David Bicket, convener of Working Group 21, provides insights into the benefits of standards:

The subject of standards can arouse passions in a few people, but for others it is mind‐numbingly boring. Nonetheless, our lives are dominated by standards even currencies are really standards, alternatives to the gold standard. If we did not have such standards, the business world as we know it would not exist, and our social and personal worlds would also be turned upside down.The development of the business world tends to be accompanied by the development of standards, to allow people and organizations to work together more effectively and efficiently.

This article is an edited version of an article written for IAITAM’s ITAK magazine. Read the edited version here: Benefits of SAM/ITAM Standards. (David has generously allowed us to reproduce his article here. Please do not reuse it without asking David’s permission.)

About ISO

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the world’s largest developer and publisher of international standards.

ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 162 countries, one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system.

ISO is a non-governmental organization that forms a bridge between the public and private sectors. On the one hand, many of its member institutes are part of the governmental structure of their countries, or are mandated by their government. On the other hand, other members have their roots uniquely in the private sector, having been set up by national partnerships of industry associations.

Therefore, ISO enables a consensus to be reached on solutions that meet both the requirements of business and the broader needs of society.

See www.iso.org