ICT stands for "Information and Communications Technology"
The term includes electronic information-processing technologies such as computers and the Internet, as well as fixed-line telecommunications, mobile phones and other wireless communications, networks, broadband, and various specialised application devices ranging from barcode scanners and Braille readers to global positioning systems (GPS). ICT devices can be embedded in other machines and appliances to increase their functionality, from watches and washing machines to cars.
The information we access through digital technologies can promote innovation, increase productivity, and enrich the quality of our lives. Content creation is not only a global business – now it can be anyone’s business. Using digital technologies to create and access our distinctive cultural content enhances our identity as New Zealanders. ICT helps us unlock our stores of national content, making them accessible to all, and it is a powerful tool for directing and expressing our creativity.
Lifting productivity is a key government goal. Investing in ICT can have a powerful effect on productivity in almost every industry, driving innovation, cutting costs, and opening up new opportunities. ICT can boost profits, help small firms overcome limitations of size, and enable even tiny enterprises to establish a global presence. But to take full advantage of the opportunities of ICT, we need to develop the skills of our workforce at every level, from front-line staff to senior management. Investing in management and business capability is a priority.
Digital Strategy 2.0 is contributing to productivity growth and is closely aligned with the government’s productivity enhancement programmes.
ICT also has environmental benefits, helping us achieve our goal of sustainable development. Through ICT we can manage resources better, such as improving the efficiency of energy use and supply, cutting production costs, and reducing our impact on the environment.
Transformation through Information and Communication
There is an international consensus on the importance of intellectual input in creating value, underlining the need for investment in education and skills in general, with a special focus on ICT skills and research and development. ICT has changed the face of modern science and technology research, requiring our research organisations to be linked to each other through an Advanced Network that is connected to the rest of the world. Ready access to a safe, secure, and affordable communications infrastructure that enables national and international collaboration is the other half of the equation to take us forward to the Knowledge Society:
Information + Communication = Knowledge Society
Feedback on the Draft Digital Strategy 2.0 roundly endorsed our view that ICT is a general-purpose enabler across the whole economy. It is likely that 20 years from now New Zealand will still be a commodity producer on a global scale, but our continued success in primary industries as well as knowledge industries will depend on our ability to innovate and apply knowledge.