There is no sphere of life today that is not impacted by information and communication technology (ICT). ICT fuels innovation, efficiency, and economic growth, both in the ICT-producing and ICT-using sectors – in other words, the whole interconnected world.

The ICT industry is complex and forward-thinking by its very nature. From a standardization perspective, this means that any document developed needs to at once respond to and anticipate the needs of a multitude of different industries and applications operating on a global scale. The effectiveness and growth of the industry are dependent upon the ability of the many component parts and systems to inter-operate, work reliably and efficiently, and meet diverse needs.

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The International Organization for Standardization / International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) Joint Technical Committee (JTC) 1, Information Technology, has addressed the standardization needs of the ICT industry around the world since 1987. ISO/IEC JTC 1 is the place where the basic building blocks of new technologies are defined and the foundations of ICT infrastructures are laid.

JTC 1 works to address the standardization needs of the global ICT industry, speeding the developmental process and the wide deployment of relevant standards. The U.S. plays a leading role in JTC 1, with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) holding the secretariat. ANSI member and accredited standards developer the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) serves as the ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Administrator to JTC 1.

JTC 1 is one of the largest and most prolific technical committees in the international standardization community. With over 2,600 published standards under the broad umbrella of the committee and its 19 subcommittees, including ISO/IEC JTC 1/ SC 17, Cards and personal identification (credit cards/contactless cards), ISO/IEC JTC1/SC 27, IT Security Techniques (common criteria/identity management); and, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC 29, Coding of audio, picture, multimedia and hypermedia information (MPEG/JPEG).

JTC 1 makes a tremendous impact on the ICT industry worldwide. The issues that JTC 1 deals with affect everyone – from the computers and credit cards that we use each day to the signaling systems that control our transportation infrastructure. Of all major industries, ICT carries the largest umbrella.

JTC 1 takes a proactive, forward-thinking approach to new work areas; establishes alliances to improve cross-sectorial cooperation; and focuses the technical orientation of work on three domains – core technologies, system integration, and areas of societal concern.

This approach has enabled JTC 1 to make great progress in developing standards that cross a broad swath of technology sectors, particularly in rapidly expanding areas such as cloud computing, security, sustainability, and accessibility. JTC 1 is currently addressing such critical areas as learning, education and training (LET); cloud web services; biometrics in identity management; sensor networks for smartsystems; and, corporate governance of IT implementation. As technologies continue to converge, JTC 1 has positioned itself as a system integrator, especially in areas of standardization where many consortia and fora are active.

There is no doubt that the ICT industry will continue its meteoric growth. JTC 1 is committed to keeping pace, and has identified a large number of focus areas for future work including social networking and web collaboration, augmented reality, 3D image technology, virtualization, social analytics, wireless power transfer, and smart cities.

The ongoing challenges and opportunities surrounding such critical areas as energy efficiency, sustainability, security, and cloud computing ensure that JTC 1 will have many more years of prolific activity. JTC 1 is committed to developing relevant ICT standards that respond to the needs of the industry, and make the world a better place for us all.

The success of JTC 1 is due to the participation and collaboration of U.S. industry and technical experts. To get involved in the domestic work of JTC 1 contact INCITS, or contact ANSI for information about international participation.

At a time when the public and private sectors are looking for concrete solutions to help spur job creation and ensure America’s strength in the innovation age, it is more important than ever for U.S. companies to harness the power of standardization. The work of ISO/IEC JTC1 on ICT shows us what is possible.


S. Joe Bhatia

President and CEO

American National Standards Institute


Joe Bhatia

President and CEO

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)