Some people are concerned that industry
standards are too big for their purposes. They don't like the look of the
learning curve. They don't think they can swallow a large set of standards in
one gulp. They can't spare the time, the energy, or the people. They don't want
to gold-plate their information systems.
Worries about using too much in the way of
standards usually lead to a rejection of all standards. The result is a
patchwork series of local fixes – the situation which engineers dignify with
the term “point solutions”.
It's true that mature industry standards
have a lot of content, but it's more useful to think of this as richness rather
than bulk. The thing is, no one expects anyone to take all of a set of
standards in one bite. For those organizations that do, if you will,
standardize on standards, the strategy tends to be incremental. There's rarely
a need for a big bang approach. In any case, organizations need to prioritize
and, sometimes, adapt the standards they take on.
Also, I'd say that no well-developed
industry standard is too big. The idea just doesn't make sense. If you source
your standards from an open, community-based, industry-focused body, then
you're accessing exactly the right amount of standards for the business in
hand. If the standards are underdeveloped in some area, then you may be looking
at an under-provision which will be addressed in time. But you'll never see
This is because true industry standards are the end product of careful exploration, discussion, and approval by the best minds in the business. These standards have also been proven in repeated use throughout the industry.