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The ICT Framework for the Future Report, Enabling Our Future (Framework for the Future Steering Committee 2003) concluded that ICT has a broad role, providing a set of enabling technologies and related products and services that underpin the development of Australia as an information or knowledge economy.
Enabling Our Future observed that many of the new business opportunities for Australian firms will depend on their capacity to develop new ICT-based products and services which respond to the expanding role of ICT across the economy and society. The report also highlighted the importance of a substantial level of ICT production and capability in Australia. It recommended that the information base for the ICT industry be improved. In particular, the report concluded that Australia needs:
- A comprehensive collection of data about the ICT industry which fully recognises the breadth and pervasive nature of the industry and that moves beyond traditional classification categories; and
- A better understanding and measurement of the productivity benefits of ICT across the economy and the contribution of ICT to exports in other sectors.
Considerable progress has been made in improving the level of understanding in relation to the second of these issues. However, it has mostly been from an economy or industry-wide perspective and the research has focused mainly on the adoption and utilisation of computers, the Internet, e-commerce and corporate ICT systems. This report addresses the application and use of ICT in business processes and specifically in manufacturing processes outside the ICT manufacturing sector.