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ICT's complexity obstructs Germany's interoperability centre

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Germany's plans for a federal resource centre on interoperability issues are hindered by "increasing complexity of information and communication technologies and its uses, creating new and previously not foreseeable challenges", the Ministry of Economics and Technology says.

The 'interoperability clearing house' is one of four measures announced in the federal government's 'Digital Germany 2015' strategy launched in 2010. The government would also build a facility to test interoperability and to determine norms for procurement, build a web portal and support knowledge transfer.

Last November, the ministry reported that it has begon the building of the test facility. This week, a spokesperson for the ministry reported that no further progress has been made.

Competition

The measures are part of actions on open standards and interoperability. According to the Digital Germany 2015 plan, the use of open source software in public administration will "enhance the interoperability and future viability of information technology systems and make a contribution to strengthening ICT competency in Germany for improving competitiveness and security on the software market."

The plan also aims to "position Germany for an international spearheading role in the development and dissemination of technologies based on open standards."

Objectives of these measures and actions include "the dissemination of open standards and interoperable systems in industry and administration". Germany also hopes to export is know-how on how to make open, interoperable ICT architectures and infrastructures.

Priority

In its Digital Germany 2015 plan, the German government says that standardisation and interoperability are of national strategic importance. "Because they are essential for the interoperability of complex technical systems, setting and implementing standards is a way of gaining competitive advantages. Standardisation also enables extensive non-proprietary scope when selecting products."

According to the plan, the use of open standards to ensure unhindered access to ICT markets is a priority for Germany. "They are the best way to support interoperability and functionality in complex technical systems. Interoperable basic telecommunications infrastructure (including network interfaces, platform requirements) are essential for generating new services."

 

More information:

Digital Germany 2015 (pdf)
Monitoring-Bericht IKT-Strategie der Bundesregierung "Deutschland Digital 2015" zum 7. Nationalen IT-Gipfel (in German)