Sometimes you do not have a choice. Contract Certainty, a major part of Market Reform in London was mandated by the FSA (Financial Services Authority) and it was largely accomplished. Now the question is whether or not organizations would mandate doing business electronically using industry standards.
While ACORD Standards are set and implemented voluntarily by members, there is precedent for mandating data standards in health insurance. Regulators have been known to mandate data formats for filings and private organizations are now talking about it. Lloyd's of London is focusing on process reform and has not ruled out mandating the use of ECF (Electronic Claim File) if members fail to take up the streamlined system. ECF uses the ACORD DRI (Document Repository & Interoperability) Standard.
Many ACORD members make decisions about suppliers (vendors) based on ACORD membership and ACORD Standards. And it is not uncommon to find ACORD compliance as a requirement in RFP's (Requests For Proposals). While everyone likes to believe that managers all understand the economic value of implementing industry standards, it requires committment and change. We are probably looking at a future where trading partners will seek out those that can more easily do business with them electronically and avoid those that do not. In the end, the market itself will make industry standards compulsory.