Gartner and the European Interoperability Framework 2.0

Recently, the European Commission’s IDABC published a document written on contract by Gartner initiating the revision of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) and the Architecture Guidelines (AG). Check out the EIF v2.0 Gartner-report.

I represented Denmark in the comittee that created the EIF and maintained the AG, so of course I read the Gartner-report with a biased view. Then again, I always tend to read documents from Gartner with a biased view.

These days I also read a lot of masters theses and other reports by my students, and I can’t help comparing the Gartner report to a student report.

The Commission asked Gartner inc. to “make a study, situating the European Interoperability Framework in relation to the current practices in the Member States and elsewhere and to give an independent view on the revision process and on its desired outcome.”

If the Gartner consultants were my students, they should fear the exam, because I would confront their problem understanding, their methods, their empirical depths/shallowness, and not least their pseudo-theoretical analysis and model-amok. Having said that, I admit to finding some of their proposals pretty interesting, for example, their Generic Public Services Framework is conceptually interesting, but not very well explained and motivated.

Researchwise, the Gartner report does not go into much if any detail with respect to the national interoperability frameworks that have been established in several member states: Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Malta, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and United Kingdom.

EIF presented a pretty clear definition of open standards. EIF 2.0 will, Gartner suggests, “allow open standards and other recognized standards to coexist”, and Gartner recommends not to focus on the use of open standards per se.

That calls for a campaign, someone decided. See openstandards.eu:

On the content of EIF v2.0, I ask

1. that EIF v2.0 recommends the use of open standards, as defined in the definition given by EIF v1.0 for all exchanges by public institutions and states, as did the EIF v1.0 document,
2. that recommends the use of open source software, by public institutions and states, as did the EIF v1.0 document,
3. that EIF v2.0 recommends the use of open standards for all communications eg. documents, videos, sounds … they publish, to and with the public for example on their websites, by the public institutions in Europe, at the European Commission and all the member states, and conform to open standards for the tools they provide,

On the elaboration process of EIF v2.0, I ask

1. for the explicite public consultation during a sufficiently long time, for the redaction of such an important report as EIF v2.0,
2. for the explicite participation of SMEs and a majority of members states for such a consultation and document redaction.

I signed it. Go sign it too!

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