Calls for focus on data policy, intellectual property, workforce development, emerging technologies
WASHINGTON — January 11, 2017 — With the 2017 Presidential Inauguration less than two weeks away, BSA | The Software Alliance released its 2017 US Policy Agenda outlining the software industry’s priority policy areas for the year. Policies that reward innovation, allow software service providers to meet their customers’ privacy and security expectations, streamline regulations, and reduce barriers to digital trade will accelerate society’s access to the many benefits of software and help create jobs in the US.
The success of the software industry is vital to the US economy. A recent report from BSA shows the industry contributes more than $1 trillion to the US GDP, nearly 10 million jobs, and $52 billion in R&D, with significant effects in each of the 50 states. Ninety percent of business leaders cite data innovation as one of the key resources and a key differentiator for business, on par with basic resources like land, labor, and capital.
BSA calls on the 115th Congress and the Trump Administration to focus on four key policy areas:
- Data Policy: As the US continues to tap into the unprecedented potential of data innovation, laws and regulations must be modernized so they are clear, effective, and predictable. These initiatives include balancing government’s access to data to ensure privacy and security, reducing international barriers to digital trade, and improving government’s ability to address cybersecurity threats.
- Intellectual Property: Software accounts for 17.2 percent of all domestic business R&D in the US. Policies to properly protect intellectual property are critical to maintaining this investment.
- Workforce Development: The software industry is a key job creator in the US. By 2020, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be 1.4 million computing jobs but just 400,000 computer science students with the skills to apply for those jobs. BSA calls for investments in computer science education to help prepare the next generation of tech workers. Additionally, BSA supports effective visa programs for high-skilled immigrants to support the software industry.
- Emerging Technologies: Policies can foster the growth of emerging technologies powered by software, from cloud computing services and artificial intelligence to blockchain and 3-D printing. BSA seeks to help educate policymakers as they consider public policy issues that new technologies and their adoption might raise.
“Software plays a significant role in fostering growth and innovation across the nation,” said Victoria Espinel, President and CEO of BSA | The Software Alliance. “BSA’s members impact businesses large and small across all industries. Software creates great-paying jobs for a wide range of professions – from app developers and web designers to accountants and project managers. Beyond that, software creates jobs across every economic sector. It is imperative that the newly elected Congress and President drive policies that allow software to continue to move the US economy forward.”
For more information about BSA’s 2017 Policy Agenda, click here.