Harnessing Information Technology: CIC is the principal NSTC committee responsible for pursuing the
goal of "Harnessing Information Technology." Because of the pervasive importance of this enabling
technology, CIC's leadership and strategic directions support all of the other societal goals.
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.