‘Interoperability’ refers to the shared quality of computers or electronic devices, by which information and data exchange among these devices becomes possible. When interoperability conditions are met, data can be transferred freely from several devices or across platforms, for instance from a desktop computer to an external hard drive or a Compact Disc.
The quality of interoperability can be applied as well to societies, communities or global communications. In this context, interoperability can be described as the ability of multiple social, political, and legal entities to work together, cooperate and exchange information (inter-operate) for achieving a common goal.
Network Centric Operations Industry Consortium http://www.ncoic.org