IT industry supports narrowing focus

The body representing New Zealand's IT industry is approaching the World Summit on Information Societies summit by putting its weight behind the proposals of the World IT and Services Alliance.

The body representing New Zealand’s IT industry is approaching the WSIS (World Summit on Information Societies) summit by putting its weight behind the proposals of the World IT and Services Alliance (WITSA).

WITSA, an association of industry bodies from more than 30 countries, expresses reservations about the broad range of topics that WSIS seeks to cover. It recommends a narrowing of focus on to what Information Technology Association (ITANZ) chief executive Jim O’Neill calls “specific measurable things”, of clear benefit to an IT-enhanced society.

Chief among these are:

  • Development and deployment of ICT infrastrucure — “the WSIS should focus first on the role of governments in introducing competition and providing a favorable regulatory environment to create the framework necessary to ensure such deployment/development by the private sector.”
  • Education “including basic tools such as literacy and more targeted tools such as computer literacy”, through initiatives developed by public-private- sector partnerships.
  • Applications, with particular emphasis on e-government, e-learning and e-health.
History has shown that “summits” with agendas as broad-ranging as that initially sketched for WSIS tend to fail, says O’Neill, citing as a past example, last year’s Johannesburg summit on sustainable development.

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