JTC 1/SC 38
Cloud computing and distributed platforms

Revision December 2018


The scope of SC 38 is

  • Standardization in the area of Cloud Computing and Distributed Platforms including: Foundational concepts and technologies
  • Operational issues, and
  • Interactions among Cloud Computing systems and with other distributed systems

SC 38 serves as the focus, proponent, and systems integration entity on Cloud Computing, Distributed Platforms, and the application of these technologies.  SC 38 provides guidance to JTC 1, IEC, ISO and other entities developing standards in these areas.


SC 38, Distributed Application Platform and Services, was established at the 2009 JTC 1 Plenary meeting in Tel Aviv, Israel to work in three related technology areas: Web Services, Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and Cloud Computing.  At its first Plenary meeting in April 2010 in Beijing, SC 38 established three subgroups:

Working Group 1 on Web Services

Terms of Reference:
  • Maintain previously approved standards from WS-I PAS submissions: ISO/IEC 29361, ISO/IEC 29362, and ISO/IEC 29363.
  • Maintain possible future JTC 1 PAS and Fast Track developed ISO/IEC standards in the area of Web Services.
  • Investigate where web service related standardization is already ongoing in JTC 1 entities.
  • Investigate gaps and commonalities in work in “iii” above.

Working Group 2 on Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)

Terms of Reference:
  • Enumerate SOA principles.
  • Coordinate SOA related activities in JTC 1.
  • Investigate where SOA related standardization is already ongoing in JTC 1 entities.
  • Investigate gaps and commonalities in work in “iii” above, such as SOA governance and management, the latter including lifecycle aspects.
  • Liaise and collaborate with relevant SDOs and consortia related to SOA.
  • Maintain possible future JTC 1 PAS and Fast Track developed ISO/IEC standards in the area of SOA.

Study Group on Cloud Computing (SGCC)

Terms of Reference:
  • Provide a taxonomy, terminology and value proposition for Cloud Computing.
  • Assess the current state of standardization in Cloud Computing within JTC 1 and in other SDOs and consortia beginning with document JTC 1 N 9687.
  • Document standardization market/business/user requirements and the challenges to be addressed.
  • Liaise and collaborate with relevant SDOs and consortia related to Cloud Computing.
  • Hold open meetings to gather requirements as needed from a wide range of interested organizations.
  • Provide a report of activities and recommendations to SC 38

Current Structure and Working Groups

As the program of work of SC 38 evolves, the title and structure of SC 38 are modified to accommodate the changing landscape.  Working Groups and Study Groups are disbanded as their work comes to completion and new Working Groups and Study Groups are established to develop new work items.

SC 38 carries out its current active program of work utilizing the following structure:

Working Group 3 – Cloud Computing Fundamentals (CCF)

Terms of Reference:
  1. Projects related to Cloud Computing Service Agreements
  2. Projects related to fundamental concepts, terminology and definitions for Cloud Computing
  3. Projects related to guidance on the use of international standards in the development of policies that govern or regulate cloud service providers and cloud services, and policies that govern the use of cloud services in enterprise organizations
  4. Establish liaisons and collaborate with other entities within JTC 1, SDOs and consortia performing work related to Cloud Computing

Working Group 5 – Data in Cloud Computing and Related Technologies

Terms of Reference
  1. Standardization in the area of data in cloud computing, distributed platforms, connected devices and related technologies
  2. Establish liaisons and collaborate with other entities within and external to JTC 1 as appropriate

Communications Committee

Terms of Reference
  • Work with JTC 1 Advisory Group (JAG) Press Committee and Press Officer to orchestrate any JTC 1 Press Committee needs to be associated with SC 38.
  • Establish strategy and guidelines for use in SC 38 communications and outreach activities.
  • Prepare timely draft press releases on published SC 38 standards or other activities when appropriate and submit them to the SC 38 Chair and Secretary for approval.
  • Maintain a set of presentations and other collateral about SC 38 for use in outreach activities.
  • Act as a resource to assist hosts with outreach events associated with SC 38 meetings.
  • Moderate exposure of SC 38 activities on social media.
  • Prepare online content regarding SC 38 for use in JTC 1, ISO, Wikipedia and selected social media channels.
  • Work with the SC 38 Wiki Master to keep the SC 38 Wikipedia entry up to date.

SC 38 has also established Liaison Coordination Groups (LCGs) for between Plenary interaction with SC 27, SC 41 and SC 42.  The Terms of Reference for these LCGs is as follows:


Liaison Coordination Group (LCG) Terms of Reference

Purpose:  There may be times when an ISO, IEC or JTC 1 subcommittee requests input from SC 38 on a liaison statement or a document under development and the deadline for an SC 38 response falls in between SC 38 Plenary meetings.  An LCG can prepare SC 38 responses to such requests when approval at an SC 38 Plenary meeting cannot be obtained on a timely basis.  In such instances only, the designated members of the LCG will assist the designated SC 38 Liaison Representative in preparing a response on behalf of SC 38

Duration:  An LCG is established by SC 38 resolution to exist until the next Plenary when it may be reconstituted or terminated.

Method of operation:  The SC 38 Chair or Secretary will request the LCG to develop a response when one is needed from SC 38 between its Plenaries.  The Liaison Representative may bring such items to the attention of the SC 38 Chair and Secretary. The SC 38 Secretary will post the relevant documents to the SC 38 document register and instruct the LCG to address them. The Liaison Representative will convene the group and keep the group informed. Email will be the normal and primary means of group discussion and dissemination of information. When necessary, the group may meet via teleconference at the discretion of the Liaison Representative, SC 38 Chair or Secretary.

Membership: The LCG is open to all SC 38 National Bodies and Liaison Organizations.  Representatives from the SC seeking SC 38 input may also be invited to participate when needed.

Cooperations and liaison 

SC 38 maintains a close liaison with numerous JTC 1 entities including JTC 1/SC 27 on IT Security Techniques and JTC 1/SC 41 on the Internet of Things and Related Technologies as well as with many external organizations including the Cloud Security Alliance and OASIS.

Member countries

The current 31 “P” members of SC 38 are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan,  Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Pakistan, Panama, Poland, Russian Federation, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and USA

The current 14 “O” members of SC 38 are Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Hungary, Kenya, MexicoNorway, Portugal, Serbia, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uruguay and Zambia.

Standards and plenary meetings

As of December 2018, SC 38 has 14 published standards/technical reports

The following Plenary meetings of SC 38 have been held since 2010; Working Groups meet in conjunction with the Plenary.

  • April 2010 in Beijing, CHINA
  • October 2010 in New York USA
  • April 2011 in Paris FRANCE
  • September 2011 in Seoul KOREA
  • May 2012 in Berlin, GERMANY
  • September 2012 in Stockholm, SWEDEN
  • April 2013 in Madrid, SPAIN
  • September 2013 in Kobe, JAPAN
  • May 2014 in Sydney, AUSTRALIA
  • October 2014 in San Paulo, BRAZIL
  • March 2015 in Vienna, AUSTRIA
  • October 2015 in Dublin, IRELAND
  • April 2016 in London, UK
  • October 2016 in Berlin, Germany
  • March 2017 in Chengdu, China
  • September 2017 in San Jose, California, USA
  • April 2018 in Warsaw, Poland
  • August 2018 in Montreal, Canada