Before air conditioning, airplanes, and plastics were invented, and before science was changed forever by Albert Einsteinís special theory of relativity, the importance of Standards realized by foresighted people and they began laying foundation like Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM - 1875), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST - 1901) [and in later it facilitate to form like International System of Units (SI) and International Standard Organization (ISO-1947)].
What are Standards?
Standards are documented agreements containing technical specifications or other precise criteria to be used consistently as rules, guidelines, or definitions of characteristics, to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose. For example, the format of the credit cards, phone cards, and "smart" cards that have become commonplace is derived from an ISO. Adhering to the standard, which defines such features as an optimal thickness (0.76 mm), means that the cards can be used worldwide.
The need of Standards was dramatized in 1904, when more than 1,500 buildings burned down in Baltimore, in Maryland, USA., because of a lack of standard fire-hose couplings. When firefighters from Washington and as far away as New York arrived to help douse the fire, only few of their hoses fit the hydrants. By the Baltimore fire investigation, NIST had collected more than 600 sizes and variations in fire-hose couplings overall USA.
The Standards applied in many areas like units of measurement, tools, equipments, machinery, household items and environment. In the field of information technology, there was a slow growth in the first 40 years. After implement the Standards and compatibility the revolution comes within 20 years (eg: Microsoft and its windows GUI technology and Internet usage). Computer experts around the world designed lot of standard software to fit for IT environment. The technology rapidly grows and everyone using it happily.International Standards thus contribute to making life simpler, and to increasing the reliability and effectiveness of the goods and services we use.
Links to Standards organization.