By Michelle Hunt, Director Alliance Management Operations, IEEE Industry Standards and Technology Organization

Forming an industry alliance or any technology collective can sometimes seem overwhelming or be viewed as a tough challenge. But while there are several factors to consider when constructing an effective group, the benefits of a fully operational, engaged membership collective, all working to support a valued mission to grow a technology ecosystem, is well worth the angst.

Market leaders and visionaries in new and emerging technologies understand the value derived from creating and promoting the market acceptance of technology solutions through industry consortia, special interest groups (SIGs), trade groups and alliances. Do you? If your organization seeks broad adoption of a technology solution(s) that will serve and grow your ecosystem, here are 10 key benefits you should consider:

  1. Industry alliances are proven to be excellent vehicles to effectively achieve business goals and grow market sectors and ecosystems both in size and in competition.
  2. A collective group tends to legitimize its technology solutions as the alliance ensures that technology advancement and standardization is well thought out, sustainable, and able to benefit all alliance members.
  3. In the technology space, as development problems and challenges are often universal, addressing these common challenges in a collective environment dramatically reduces the resources necessary for individual companies to address these issues independently.
  4. In addition to reducing research and development (R&D) expenses by developing solutions collectively, consumers benefit from the resulting products that incorporate an alliance’s technology, and that have assured interoperability.
  5. Becoming a member of an industry alliance dramatically increases the reach of your organization’s voice, allows for powerful networking opportunities among industry leaders, and affords you the ability to contribute and shape future technology that can benefit your organization and sector.
  6. Alliance certification and compliance and interoperability (C&I) test programs promote market adoption of emerging technologies worldwide and financially support the collective to continue management and advancement of its work product.
  7. Alliance certification and compliance programs also directly impact the protection of member company intellectual property.
  8. Through the leadership and ecosystem backing of an alliance, standardization of technologies can be fast-tracked such that technology solutions can be adopted in line with the current industry demand.
  9. Where some technologies can face negative perceptions and speculation, an alliance provides a unified voice that can counter with hard facts.
  10. Alliances encourage a “technology agnostic” development model, where competitors come together and agree on a common roadmap for technology solutions that benefits the world.

Alliances play a key role in the development and advancement of new and emerging technologies. The success of Linux and Open Source are just a few examples of how an alliance can bring extensive and far-reaching technology solutions into play. What’s clear is that as we move towards a more technologically advanced future, new foundational technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence, as well as a wide range of vertical market technologies, will be further developed and promoted through alliances that will effectively resolve complex issues for the greater good.

Learn more about the ins and outs of starting an industry alliance on our Best Practice page.