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3. The Context

            Our societies, both at European and global level, are faced with

            economic and societal challenges such as sustainable development,
            modernization, ageing of populations and social cohesion.

            The introduction of digital technologies in      Standardization has enabled European
            economic and societal processes is key to        successes in many business areas and will
            address these challenges and the world’s         continue to play an important role in the
            economies are now undergoing a digital           digital transformation. Standardization ensures
            transformation.                                  an interoperable and conducive business
                                                             environment that enables and stimulates
            This digital transformation of our economies     innovation and competitiveness of European
            impacts and is influenced by all aspects of life   businesses globally.
            from the way we live, work, care and are cared
            for, to the way in which we are governed and     ICT standards are at the core of this
            interact with our governments.                   transformation by providing widely adopted
                                                             technology platforms, driving innovation
            Its influence and impact is expected to          in multiple ways and across multiple
            penetrate ever wider and deeper, driven by       industry sectors. The impact of the digital
            and creating a dynamic and evolving world of     transformation and the evolution of ICT can
            digital and cognitive technologies and their     be seen through socio-economic, policy and
            applications.                                    technology trends.

            Socio-economic Trends

            Digital technologies are not only impacting      They contribute to a major transformation of
            our daily life at large, they influence economic   the social and economic models that define
            models, open up new opportunities, as well as    our modern world, impacting and influencing
            enable new ways of interaction not possible in   markets and economies locally, nationally,
            the past.                                        regionally and globally, and providing new
                                                             ways for interaction and integration.
            They enhance access to culture and education
            for all, and revolutionize public services.      Players and their roles – The ecosystem
            The interplay between actors has changed,        in the digital world makes room and opens
            boundaries in industry and in other domains      up new opportunities for many different
            are moving – and change is continuing at an      players at many different levels, from service
            even increased pace.                             providers to manufacturers, from end users to
            ICT and its role in society – Digital
            technologies transform society at large,         Each player may assume different roles
            impacting individuals, households, businesses    depending on specific circumstances, and
            and governments.                                 the nature of roles is changing. For example,

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