Information Technology (IT) is belatedly being recognised in government and industry circles in Australia as the dominant engine for productivity improvement and business opportunities for enterprises in the 21st Century and a key factor for generating future employment. Indeed the convergence of computing and communications as manifested in the Internet means that much commerce in the future will be carried out electronically. The global nature of IT is such that Australia simply cannot afford to be a spectator, or we will be condemned to be an also-ran compared with other nations.
The growth in IT internationally has been fuelled by research and innovation, and by an advanced R&D computing and communications infrastructure. Worldwide, IT has one of the highest levels of research investment of all industries and it is this on-going investment that is driving phenomenal growth in international trade in information products and services.