There’s been a bit of a furore in the comments-sections of this weblog lately, with various people arguing back and forth about whether or not money can in some way buy influence on industry-‘standards’ and purported ‘thought-leadership’. If money can be used to buy such influence, it would have some decidedly-disturbing implications for the validity of supposed ‘standards’ and suchlike for enterprise-architecture and the like.
For clarification, then, just yesterday there’s this article from Terry Blevins, on the Open Group’s own weblog, presenting five reasons why companies should get involved in Open Group standards-efforts. Here, in its entirety, is his fifth item:
5. Ability to set the standard – if one already has a product suite that is connected with sound interface specifications; a Platinum member of The Open Group can submit that as the standard in the fast track and actually be seen as setting the standard. This promotes the company in the leadership position and commitment to the interoperability message.
And take a good look, too, at the Open Group’s ‘Platinum membership‘ option: it’s pretty explicit about how much serious extra clout that such membership – for ‘premier organizations’ only – entitles that member to have on the Open Group’s nominally-‘open’ strategy and standards-work.
So whilst it’s probably true of other standards-bodies as well, in the case of the Open Group, the short-answer to the question “Can money buy influence on standards?” would seem, from their own statements, to be an almost-unqualified ‘Yes’.
Just in case you were wondering…