December 15, 2021

IDSA’s Strategic Overview: How We Will Make the Data Economy Come to Life

Last November we held an event to provide all our partners, members and non-members with a strategic overview of IDSA’s assets and achievements. We wanted to explore how we can use these assets and achievements to co-create data spaces which guarantee data sovereignty and bring them to commercial use. This is how we will make the data economy come to life.
Antonia Kuster

To start us off, Reinhold Achatz – IDSA’s Chairman of the Board – took the stage. Reinhold is fighting for IDSA in a variety of contexts: of course, in Germany and throughout Europe, but also globally as he creates links to other ecosystems, for example in China and Japan.

Reinhold’s message to us was clear. We are living in exciting times. Data spaces are rapidly gaining momentum. We need to leverage this momentum so that small companies and start-ups can participate alongside the big players. This is our chance to standardize sovereign data sharing. By confidently sharing their data, these companies will create new business models that will drive the data economy. We can’t let the opportunity pass us by.

Trust, interoperability and governance for data spaces

Following Reinhold, Lars Nagel, our CEO, painted the big picture of trust, interoperability and governance for data spaces. He showed us where IDSA is today, and what the organization has achieved in the last 6 years.

Simply put, we have learned that data spaces are a game-changer for the data economy. Able to share data with unknown partners and data endpoints, companies can now co-create and exploit the true value of their data in a flourishing ecosystem.

For this to happen, all participants in a data space need to be able to make informed decisions regarding who they share their data with, and via which components. IDSA’s goal is therefore to co-create a standard for data sharing which guarantees data sovereignty and interoperability in and between data spaces. It’s how we will infuse data spaces with trust.

Key to building this trust is the magic triangle of the IDS Reference Architecture Model (RAM), the certification scheme, and our portfolio of open-source building blocks. The RAM is the blueprint for data spaces, providing detailed specifications of all the required roles and components. The certification scheme delivers conformity to the RAM, so that partners can make informed decisions about whom they share their data with. The open-source building blocks are needed to implement the IDS standardization. They enable even non-IDSA members to participate in our project – vital if IDS is to enter commercial setups. In sum, the Magic Triangle provides everything needed to share data in confidence.

Lars then took us into a deep exploration of our core pillars. The pillars are the main assets that IDSA has created over the last 6 years and flow from RAM 3.0., through 3rd Party Conformity, Rule Book 1.1, our open-source budling blocks, to IDS adoption as a de-facto standard with a real business impact.

The pillars address a key concern, which is to define the standard with all our members in consensus and see it adopted in the data sharing ecosystem. That’s the big picture. Lars’ invitation was for you to become part of the journey by helping us define the standard.

Development of RAM V4.0 and the Rule Book

Sebastian Steinbuss, our CTO, then gave us a deep dive into the fundamentals of two of the core pillars: the IDS-RAM and the IDS Rule Book. As far as the RAM is concerned, we are consolidating the great feedback and change requests we received based on V3.0, in order to develop V4.0 of the model. We will publish this in April 2022. With that goal in mind, we must continuously align V4.0 with all our existing detail specifications.

We are also clarifying the link between the RAM and IDS Rule Book documents. We have done this from the perspective of the Rule Book. Now we need a clear alignment between the operationalization and lifecycle of IDS-based ecosystems and the governance scheme in the Rule Book. This is especially true at the system layer, where we have to explain how the different components evolve and collaborate with each other.

How can you get involved? Easy. Whether you have a question, want to request a change, or want to contribute to the text as a whole, it’s as simple as joining one of our working groups or GitHub repositories. This was Sebastian’s call to action regarding the development of the RAM.

Launch of the Working Group Rule Book

At this point, Sebastian handed the presentation over to Giulia Giussani, our Digital Innovation Manager, who explained the continuing development of the IDSA Rule Book. The Rule Book is currently in V1.0 and is under continuous revision to include the most recent decisions and specifications. Consequently, we have launched a Working Group Rule Book whose main responsibility will be to maintain the Rule Book as an asset. This will be done in line with the IDSA Operational Handbook.

A further responsibility of the Working Group Rule Book will be to maintain contact and continuously align with other European endeavors also dealing with Rule Books, for example, the design principles for Data Spaces.

All IDSA members can participate in the Working Group Rule Book, giving you two clear ways in which, you can shape the future of Data Spaces: Join the Working Group Architecture and help us build IDS-RAM 4.0; and become part of the IDSA Working Group Rule Book.

If you are interested in joining us in these endeavors, contact Sebastian or Giulia who will get you onboarded as quickly as possible. We look forward to working with you to bring the data economy to life.

Author: Antonia Kuster
Antonia Kuster is Digital Communications Manager at IDSA

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