A standard is a commonly agreed way of doing something. Standards not only make life simpler but are hugely important in increasing the interoperability, effectiveness and efficiency of any repeated interaction. Standards can be published documents containing technical specifications, rules, guidelines or definitions. They are an important part of life in every industry. Standards save money and drive efficiency.
Standards are usually developed through consensus by experts and interested parties within an industry. They evolve to meet the continuing needs of an industry and in most cases, as with DDEX standards, are adopted voluntarily. In some environments such as health or construction, standards are mandated by a government or supra-governmental organisation.
Using a standardised method of expressing information and a standardised way of delivering it cuts out the need to adapt your systems for every organisation you intend to do business with. If everyone is using the same standards, communicating data becomes easier and cheaper, ultimately meaning there is more revenue to be distributed across the whole digital value chain.
As the digital value chain increasingly relies on high volume, low value transactions, only the use of standards can deliver the crucial operating efficiency required. Similarly, as margins are squeezed only an automated global transaction processing infrastructure based on these standards will provide the savings needed to reverse that trend.
In the early days of the digital music industry, companies were each developing their own formats and methods of delivery. This meant that any organisation wishing to transact with more than one other company had to be able to understand multiple formats delivered in multiple ways. This way of formatting and communicating metadata was expensive and inefficient.
So DDEX greatly alleviates these inefficiencies by developing standards for the communication and management of metadata.
As DDEX standards continue to be widely adopted, there will no longer be a need for business partners to manage multiple proprietary formats, leading to:
- Faster time to market
- Improved operational quality
- Improved data quality
- Shared cost reductions between partners throughout the digital value chain
- Less duplication of work
- Reduced data feeds (inbound as well as outbound)
Other industries have already benefited from such automated exchange of information. One such example is the way mobile phone operators exchange roaming information. Without global standards it would be virtually impossible to use a mobile phone abroad. The communication about whether a specific phone may be used on a foreign carrier, and whether its user still has credit available needs to be fast, seamless and without human interaction. This can only be achieved by using standards.