This is a controversial take, but the phrase "it's industry standard" is over-used in technical design discussions of the internal variety.
Yes, there are some actual full up standards. Things like RFCs and ISO-standards are actual standards. There are open standards that are widely adopted, like OpenTelemetry and the Cloud Native Computing Foundation suite, but these are not yet industry standards. The phrase "industry standard" implies consensus, agreement, a uniform way of working in a specific area.
Have you seen the tech industry? Really seen it? It is utterly vast. The same industry includes such categories as:
- Large software as a service providers like Salesforce and Outlook.com
- Medium software as a service providers like Box.com and Dr. Chrono
- Small software as a service providers like every bay area startup made in the last five years
- Large embedded systems design like the entire automotive industry
- Highly regulated industries like Health Care and Finance, where how you operate is strongly influenced by the government and similar non-tech organizations
- The IT departments at all of the above, which is much smaller than they used to be due to the SaaS revolution, but still exist
- Scientific computing for things like space probes, satellite base systems, and remote sensing platforms floating the oceans
- Internal services work at companies that don't sell technology, places like UPS, Maersk, Target, and Orange County California.
The only thing the above have any kind of consensus on is "IP-based networking is better than the alternatives," and even that is a bit fragile. Such out there statements like "HTTP is a standard transport" are ones you'd think there would be consensus on, but you'd be wrong. Saying that "kubernetes patterns are industry standard" is a statement of desire, not a statement of fact.
Thing is, the Sysadmin community used this mechanic for self-policing for literal decades. Any time someone comes to the community with a problem, it has to pass a "best practices" smell test before we consider answering the question as asked; otherwise, we'll interrogate the bad decisions that lead to this being a problem in the first place. This mechanic is 100% why ServerFault has a "reasonable business practices" close reason:
Questions should demonstrate reasonable information technology management practices. Questions that relate to unsupported hardware or software platforms or unmaintained environments may not be suitable for Server Fault.
Who sets the "best practices" for the sysadmin community? It's a group consensus of the long time members, which is slightly different between each community. There are no RFCs. There are no ISO standards. The closest we get is ITIL, the IT Infrastructure Library, which we all love to criticize anyway.
Best practices, which is "industry standard" by an older name, have always been an "I know it when I see it" thing. A tool used by industry elders to shame juniors into changing habits. Don't talk to me until you level up to the base norms of our industry, pleeb; and never mind that those norms are not canonicalized anywhere outside of my head.
This is why the phrase "it's industry standard" should not be used in internal technical design conversations
This phrase is shame based policing of concepts. If something is actually a standard, people should be able to look it up and see the history of why we do it this way.
Maybe the "industry" part of that statement is actually relevant; if that's the case, say so.
- All of the base technology our market segment run on is made by three companies, so we do what they require.
- Our industry are startups founded in 2010-2015 by ex-Googlers, so our standard is what Google did then.
- Our industry computerized in the 1960s and has consumers in high tech and high poverty areas, so we need to keep decades of backwards compatibility.
- Our industry is VC-funded SaaS startups founded after 2018 in the United States, who haven''t exited yet. So we need to stay on top of the latest innovations to ensure our funding rounds are successful.
- Our industry is dominated by on-prem Java shops, so we have to be Java as well in order to sell into this market.
These are useful, important constraints and context for people to know. The vague phrase "industry standard" does not communicate context or constraints beyond, "your solution is bad, and you should feel bad for suggesting it." Shame is not how we maintain generative cultures.
It's time to drop "it's industry standard" from regular use.