The mission of the CNSS is to elevate software to the national agenda, and to provide objective expertise, studies, and recommendations on national software issues. (See the CNSS Prospectus and Strategic Plan from January 2, 2001.)
In a span of less than thirty years, computer software has emerged as a pervasive and critical national resource. Software today is vital to America's global competitiveness and national security, and a key enabling agent in the nation's infrastructure. Yet for all its importance, the role of software in national prosperity is little studied or understood. Our growing dependency on software raises national issues and challenges that require informed and effective leadership:
The CNSS is being established by a group of concerned senior software professionals who recognized the need for national focus and informed leadership on software issues. The CNSS will study software as a national resource, and help inform the nation and its leadership on the impact of software to the economy. It will serve as a "forward observer" for early identification of issues that affect the software capability of the nation, and will act to reduce their costs and risks. It will provide a venue for the "best and brightest" to focus on critical software problems through a program of studies, communications, and forums.
- Understanding the value that software adds to the nation's economy.
- Ensuring national competitiveness in the global software marketplace.
- Meeting public needs for trustworthiness in critical software systems.
- Maintaining security and privacy in electronic commerce.
- Educating and training the current and future software workforce.
- Ensuring qualifications and competency of software professionals.
- Protecting intellectual property and preventing software piracy.
- Defining an effective agenda for software research and investment.
Study projects will be carried out to clarify and articulate national software issues and develop recommendations to address them. The CNSS will be largely Internet-based, and its website will be used to form study groups, conduct research and collaborate on study topics, and publish study results to promulgate findings and solicit feedback and participation. In addition, the CNSS will sponsor periodic forums to bring together industry, academic, and government leaders to develop findings and recommendations on national software issues.