A report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation found that money spent on computing technology delivers gains in productivity that are three to five times bigger than those of other investments:
The 69-page report is a wide-ranging look at the role that IT plays in the economy, based on an assessment of existing research and the authors' analysis. The study was done by a year-old research organization, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, whose work is supported by companies like IBM, Cisco Systems and eBay, as well as by the Communications Workers of America and foundation grants.
The study concludes that the economic significance of IT is less in the technology itself than in the capacity of computer hardware, software and services to transform other sectors of the economy.
Policy, according to the study, should focus less on incentives to use certain technology products or help particular companies than on encouraging market forces to hasten the pace of technology-aided change in industries.
In an interview, Robert D. Atkinson, the foundation president, cited health care, electric utilities and transportation as sectors that computing technology could benefit.