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Standards Development Organizations Are Going Digital


Manish Malpani

August 10, 2017

Organizations across the globe have jumped on the digital bandwagon. A report by PwC states that in 2017 the need for Digital IQ across organizations has become an urgent demand. Digital IQ refers to an organization’s ability to harness and use technology in an ever evolving, technologically driven business landscape. While many organizations such as IT, manufacturing, retail, banking, and finance etc. have made steady progress in their digitization initiatives, there are a few sectors who are still in their nascent stages of digital adoption. Sectors such as healthcare and pharma which had not taken the digital turn have now stepped on the digital accelerator given the promise that it brings.

Just like the other industries, Standards Development Organizations across the globe have also recognized the importance of becoming a digital enterprise and are taking firm steps to solidify their digital initiatives. This is driven by the demands of the consumers of these standards who want to access all standards related information in an easily accessible and digital format.

In this blog, we take a look at some points of consideration that Standards Development Organizations (SDO’s) need to keep in mind when taking the digital path.

Reliable Code Conversion

Traditionally, the standards developed by SDOs came in a hard copy print format. The first step towards going digital is to convert this into an online, digital format. The SDO might need to convert the content or data into formats such as HTML, XML, Word, MySQL, SQL, Excel, ePub, .mobi or other associated publishing formats. It becomes imperative to ensure that the content, format, and style of the standards and codes remain unchanged during this exercise. The code conversion should ensure that the contents of the standards book to display correctly and according to chapter along with ensuring easy navigation of the same.

Robust eCommerce Portal

In order to make these standards easily available to a digital audience, SDOs have to make them available through an eCommerce portal. However, unlike a regular eCommerce portal which demands a purchase of the entire standards book, the SDOs have to create an eCommerce portal that not only allows them to sell the online standards version but also allows the users subscription opportunities where they can subscribe to a standard for a specific period of time and follow a specific workflow. Having an online bookshelf that provides a view of purchases according to titles, year, purchase date or collection is definitely a must have.

Detailed Certification and Examination

SDOs not only create the standards but also often shoulder the responsibility of certifying the use of standards in particular designs. When making the digital move, SDOs need to consider automating the certification and examination process to ascertain if all codes and standards have been adhered to while building a particular structure. This also helps in navigating the compliance minefield with ease and ensures that all required checkboxes have been ticked. Digital SDOs can thus create interfaces where the required certification formalities for assessment can be completed and the model codes can be examined with ease.

Effortless and Efficient Content Delivery and Management

One of the key parameters for success for SDOs looking at digitization is efficient content delivery and management. SDOs need to warrant easy storage of the pdf codes and ensure that the standards are in a readable format. Providing copy and paste options, defining iterations from previous editions with color coded content, providing relocation and deletion markers, highlighting and annotation facilities, allowing hyperlinking of texts, providing advanced search options, etc. are a few things that help in providing a great content delivery experience. The users should also be allowed to make iterations to the standards code using the web interface.

Along with all this, SDOs embarking on digital initiatives need to ensure that their websites are device agnostic and respond to all form factors and have a simple and easy to use UI and navigation capabilities. Preparing to embark on the digitization drive is no easy task. However, by leveraging the right technology option, finding the right technology partner and keeping the user experience in mind can make navigating this journey immensely easier.

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