Internet Closes a Window, But Opens a Door

Internet Closes a Window, But Opens a Door<@VM>TechToons

Trish Williams

A global study effort that will explore governance in the digital economy is gaining momentum throughout academia, industry and government.

The $4 million study, which is being spearheaded by the Alliance for Converging Technologies, a think tank based in Toronto, is signing up big-name sponsors. Electronic Data Systems Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBM already have been joined by numerous government entities. They include the state of North Carolina, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, Argentina, the Netherlands and Human Resources Development Canada.

Representatives from these sponsoring organizations plan to meet June 28 in Toronto to map out specific areas of research. The study, "Governance in the Digital Economy," will examine the ongoing transformation of government and the way Web-based technologies are being used to streamline and improve government services.

As U.S. industry and government officials know only too well, harried citizens are demanding more and more from their governments in the way of services. And government officials are quickly jumping on the Internet bandwagon, realizing its vast potential to improve service to citizens.

Just last week, the U.S. government announced it would close the window on its Treasury securities walk-in sales offices. Soon, investors will no longer be able walk up to any of the 37 Treasury or Federal Reserve locations to buy Treasury securities - they'll have to place orders over the telephone or on the Internet.

Washington Technology staff writer Steve LeSueur talks with a wide range of sponsors to find out what they hope to glean from the study, which is slated for completion in July 2000. Check out his story on Page 1 to learn more about the framework for this global initiative.

Another cover story in this issue featuring global news of a different sort holds out the prospect for even more global information technology deals. The May 4 announcement that Wang Global is being acquired by Getronics NV of Amsterdam is expected to be a harbinger of similar deals.

European companies, which have been on a buying spree, are likely to focus more closely in the days ahead on the strong U.S. information technology market.

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