Bringing Information Technology to Infrastructure: A White Paper for a Research Agenda
The dramatic growth in the development and use of information technology (IT) has had an untold impact upon the nature and performance of the fundamental infrastructure systems that support our economy and social environment. The use of IT is no doubt already pervasive in these infrastructure systems from design and planning through operations and maintenance. IT has the potential to address many of the quality issues that infrastructure has faced, by providing detection capability for infrastructure condition, coordination of complex operations, and integration of multi-modal and multi-locational facilities to provide seamless services to consumers. Still to be understood are not only the opportunities IT provides (for example, in terms of improved performance) but also the barriers to its use (for example, in terms of IT and infrastructure compatibility). Moreover, little is known about how IT influences infrastructure and the social systems it supports. This white paper provides a background for the development of a research agenda that addresses both interrelationships between IT and infrastructure and its impacts ranging from infrastructure operations to social systems.