Job Creation and Economic Growth: The information technology industry constitutes one of our country's most rapidly growing economic sectors. However, it is also transforming every other sector. Rapid processing of information on a global scale, in an increasingly interconnected world, for better and more informed decision making and for more agile manufacturing and efficient transportation will be a critical contributor to our competitive advantage. Traditional hierarchical corporations are being transformed by virtual enterprises and accelerated by electronic commerce technologies. Built upon information systems incorporating high reliability and security, these new technologies will enable new and more efficient businesses that are able to exchange services and perform transactions over global scale communications networks. Virtual corporations will link skilled workers from anywhere in the country into project-specific teams.
Enhanced National Security: Information dominance through an integrated Defense Information Infrastructure is a key element of America's future military and crisis management capabilities. Timely, world-wide, reliable access to complete and accurate information will quickly seize the advantage in any conflict. This access, together with the ability to rapidly process and exploit information to facilitate swift command and control decisions based on reliable, comprehensive knowledge of the current situation, will greatly enhance the autonomy and survivability of individual units. Declining intelligence budgets dictate that a decreasing number of analysts be augmented with the best information processing tools. National Security continues to depend on our nation's information- and communications-enabled preeminence in defense science, technology, weapons design, and simulation-based training.
World Leadership in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics: The new modality of computation has joined theory and experimentation as a fundamental enabler of scientific advancement. Complex systems and physical phenomena are analyzed and simulated on computers. Continuing improvements in information and communications technologies will continue to bear fruit in improved understanding of the physical world, new mathematical methods, virtual experimental methods for solving complex problems, more powerful techniques for environmental control and prediction, and enhanced product design for reduced cost, longer service life, and increased safety.
A Healthy, Educated Citizenry: Information Technology is crucial for improving the quality of medical care through telemedicine, new medical diagnostic and visualization tools based on computationally intensive methods, information systems for universal patient care records, computationally based discovery and engineering of new drugs and medical procedures, and exploitation of advanced modeling and simulation to gain a more fundamental understanding of the human organism. Education can be revolutionized by widespread access to on-line digital libraries with embedded intelligence to make these easy to use by non-experts, visualization and simulation-based education and training tools as well as access to virtual communities of experts and fellow learners.
Improved Environmental Quality: Information Technology has an important role to play in improving the environment. Global-scale environmental monitoring and modeling will use computation, information, and communications technologies to provide an unprecedented and increasingly critical capacity to observe, understand, and predict changes in the environment. Remote work environments will allow workers to be more productive while not increasing automobile usage. Energy management systems can exploit information technology to make more efficient use of existing energy sources.