Several major IT vendors are planning to unveil a significant open-standards initiative in an effort to enforce safer computing for customers in a time when on-the-fly systems management is highly desirable.

Led by Tripwire, the security standard will be unveiled on a conference call August 5. Hewlett-Packard , IBM , InstallShield, RSA Security , and Sun Microsystems are joining Tripwire to present the specification.

A spokesperson close to the companies said the new plan and specification addresses change management in computer systems. The open spec will insure system security, audit compliance and uphold accountability.

"This plan immediately pinpoints the exact location and nature of an undesired change," the source said. "This closes the loop on the change and configuration process to ensure a quick return to business as usual."

System security has been a daunting challenge to many vendors, some of whom exist solely to produce tons of software to shore up computer defense. Still, the number of flaws, vulnerabilities and hacks has snowballed in recent years and the standard is intended to make sure systems changes are handled as they occur -- with little to no system interruption.

More broadly, this strategy is geared to accommodate the sweeping change in the computing industry, where industry stalwarts IBM, HP, Sun and a slew of others are vying to bring on-demand or utility computing strategies to the table to give customers more control over their IT resources. Meeting those requirements is the crux of the new standard.

Persons scheduled to participate in the call are: Tripwire Founder, President and CEO Wyatt Starnes, HP Chief Technology Officer Jan-Maarten van Dongen, Dave Bartlett, Director of Autonomic Computing at IBM, InstallShield Chief Executive Officer Viresh Bhatia, Bob Pritchard, vice president of Developer Sales, Corporate & Partner Development at RSA Security, Sin-Yaw Wang, Senior Director of Engineering of Sun Microsystems, Mark Thacker, Product Line Manager, Solaris Security, Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Tripwire, which secured $8.3 million in funding earlier this month, produces "integrity management" software to help enterprises monitor and safeguard their IT operations.