Open standards for information exchange and storage a prerequisite for the information society development
The Coalition for Open Standards, established by the leading Polish IT companies and organization, has been launched
Warsaw, December 14, 2006 – A group of companies and organizations active in the Polish IT market announced today that a Coalition has been established to promote open technological standards. The goal of this Coalition is to take measures to ensure, also by legal means, the freedom to choose IT solutions for processing and transmitting information in Poland – by citizens, businesses and administration. This freedom can be ensured only when open standards for information exchange and storage are enforced.
Application of opens standards brings numerous benefits, such as:
- ability to exchange information freely and distribute it to all interested parties,
- guaranteed access to archived information in a much longer time frame than the life cycle of the tools currently used to process information,
- freedom to choose suppliers of IT tools used to create, exchange and store information, while also reducing the associated costs,
- increased interoperability and flexibility of the implemented IT solutions,
- better quality of IT systems,
- accelerated technological development in Poland,
- improved innovation and competitiveness of the Polish IT companies,
- solid foundations for development of the information society and limiting scale of the digital divide.
Lack of open standards leads inevitably to inconveniences for the citizens and higher costs for the companies. Sharing documents (text files, data in spreadsheets) only in closed formats is particularly troublesome, as it usually enforces purchasing specific software.
There are many areas in Poland, which illustrate the negative consequences of failure to implement open standards. The Płatnik application, used to communicate with the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS), is a commonly quoted example of enforcing a particular operating system.
Open standards have long attracted approving interest of the governmental institutions in the member countries of the European Union (such as France, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, the United Kingdom). Polish lack of deeper commitment to this subject is one of key factors, which increases the technological distance that separates Poland from highly developed countries.
Established today, the Coalition for Open Standards aims at promoting the idea of open standards through a dedicated website at www.standardy.org, educational actions and active informational campaigns, letting the public know about the progress and failures in standardizing the Polish IT systems, especially the ones under control of the governmental and self-governmental administration. The Coalition wants to join the public debate on open standards, which was initiated one month ago by an interpellation in the Parliament* and a conference hosted at the Sejm in November, under patronage of the Sejm's Speaker.
The Coalition currently consists of domestic and foreign companies operating in Poland: All Stars Online, Altar, Corel, IBM, Macrologic (Macrosoft), Novell, Oracle, Rodan Systems, Software AG, 7bulls, 7thGuard.net, Sun Microsystems, Ux Systems, Varico, and organizations: Aviary.pl, ISOC Poland (Internet Society Poland), the Professional Linux Association, the Cities Online Association and the PRO Polish Software Market Association. The attached press kit presents information on how these entities are committed to supporting the open standards.
The Coalition is open. Further companies and organization can join it if they support the goals declared above. The Coalition also collects votes of support from individual and feedback illustrating how the application of closed standards is enforced. This is facilitated by the www.standardy.org website, which provides more information about the Coalition, its goals and activities.
Rafał Kruschewski (tel. +48 603594461), Łukasz Świątek (tel. +48 602351595)