ITThis afternoon I chaired a meeting of the EESC’s IT Steering Committee. I remember a time when IT in the office was pretty much restricted to the telephone and a snazzy new typewriter that had primitive editing capacity. Now IT is everywhere, from planning to legislation, from document production to electronic archiving and electronic data bases, from the intranet and the extranet to the internet. And IT is constantly developing, constantly becoming yet more sophisticated. And as we use it more, so we develop further applications. A good example of this phenomenon is the way that a move to less paper in our management board meetings led very rapidly to the development of an intranet-based site for all management board documents. At the same time, IT is expensive, requires careful investment and development decisions, and generally requires long lead times and planning. Hence the need for governance and hence the need for the IT Steering Committee, which brings together the ‘clients’ – consultative works, the sessions service, the members’ service, communication, etc – and the ‘suppliers’ – our ever-efficient IT team. My secret weapon – Super Bernard (a member of the SG’s team) – had expertly prepared the agenda and the meeting went very well.