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What Is ISO and Why Is It Crucial for Companies Worldwide?

ISO represents the International Organization for Standardization, an entity involving many nations, spanning across continents, ensuring safety and regulation of business equipment and processes.

However, ISO does not dedicate itself exclusively to one industry; it seeks to facilitate the betterment of international trade, influencing people, places and associated elements.  Started in 1947, the group has produced nearly 20,000 pieces of literature regarding standard and regulation for services and products associated to all industries, ranging from technology and computers to agriculture and healthcare.


Thrown off by the first sentence, one may wonder why ‘ISO’ stands for International Organization for Standardization.  Shouldn’t the ‘s’ and ‘o’ be switched?  Well, considering the ISO deals with people and languages of many nations, International Organization for Standardization does not translate equally.  However, the Greek word ‘isos’ does mean equal – why the founding members chose the particular acronym.


Akin to the Better Business Bureau of the United States, the ISO works on an international scale.  ISO-related brands, processes, and equipment seek to minimize waste and tolls on the planet while maximizing recycling, safety and fair trade.  Furthermore, ISO ensures business ‘playing fields’ are level, especially for young, burgeoning nations.

Development of Standards

Standards are not performed privately but through consensus, involving the best professionals of a given field who discuss, propose and vote upon standardization.  Experts are found all over the world, recruited and encouraged to join and/or share information.

Multi Industries

As mentioned, the ISO seeks governance in many industries, influencing the drinking water coming out of your tap to the diapers placed on your baby’s bottom.  For example, provides insight, product and services regarding stainless steel processes and the maintenance of used product’s integrity.


ISO is a private organization, incorporating the national standards of 164 countries yet pledging allegiance to all and none.  ISO is independent with a head office in Geneva, Switzerland that coordinates the worldwide system.

Government, Society and Business

ISO seeks to benefit government, society and business.  ISO standards improve processes, saving businesses money and improving the satisfaction of customers.  Additionally, stringent standards and utopian visions improve services and products for society, keeping individual members safe and ensuring value for dollars.  Lastly, the ISO is able to provide guidance and counsel to nations young and old regarding the evolution of processes or the genesis on new ones.

Silent Helpers

ISO members are constantly at work, especially regarding the fairness of consumers.  For example, many utility bills are confusing; some fees are ‘hidden’ or ‘automatic’; and, depending on location and logistics, some providers have an ‘exclusive’ footing within an industry.  Therefore, ISO members seek to unearth questionable and indirect business practices, billing methods and ‘automatic’ payments.

It’s difficult to get through a few hours of the day without undergoing some sort of service, product, or interaction unrelated to the ISO and its provided standards.  Like the Better Business Bureau (of the world), the ISO seeks for a better tomorrow for businesses, governments and individual consumers.  Without standards and improvements, a number of businesses would cease being profitable or existing altogether, making the ISO crucial.

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