Very few service needs (such as health care) or important public issues (such as environmental quality or domestic security) can be addressed by single organizations acting alone. Many of our needs as a society demand that perspectives, information, and other resources be shared across organizational and jurisdictional boundaries. In some cases, agencies or levels of government need to integrate their work processes and information flows into complex joint operations. Increasingly, these organizational networks also involve private businesses or nonprofit organizations. Information technology is an essential part of these initiatives, but it must be applied in the context of well understood political, organizational, and economic concerns.