Mobile, Modernization, And Cloud See The Money In 2013
June 24, 2013 Jenny Thomas
IT departments around the world can practically be heard crying out “show me the money” after years of tight budgets and sweeping cutbacks. And while the overall picture for IT spending still isn’t looking too rosy, there are a few areas that will get an infusion of cash this year, according to a recent survey of spending by government sector organizations on hardware, software, IT services and telecommunications by Gartner.
The Gartner analysts are projecting that worldwide IT spending by government organizations will total $449.5 billion in 2013, which is a slight decrease of 0.1 percent from 2012. This is also a revision to Gartner’s original 2013 spending forecast of 0.2 percent growth, which it blames on weak economic development.
But Gartner did identify three areas where spending was likely to increase: mobile technologies, IT modernization, and cloud computing. Professional services and big data were also noted as areas where investment was anticipated to be strong this year.
Mobile computing was a top priority for the surveyed government agencies worldwide. Demand is strongest in agencies with more decentralized staff and those that have a large field workforce, such as border patrol agents, inspectors, and social workers. The adoption process for mobile computing will develop over time, as agencies begin to replace existing hardware with new mobile infrastructure and devices.
Along those lines, the survey showed momentum is building for bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs, but questions continue. Of the organizations surveyed, 52 percent said employees are allowed to bring personal smartphones to work, and 50 percent can use their own laptop, followed by tablets at 38 percent. Gartner warns mobility vendors must understand how growing interest in BYOD policies and strategies may impact opportunities in the government sector. Security and governance may limit the pace and adoption.
Cloud computing was another huge talking point in the Gartner survey. with 30 to 50 percent of survey respondents reported they are adopting public and private cloud-based services at an increasing rate, meaning their organizations are either planning for or will have an active IT services contract within the next 12 months. The immediate focus was found to be on software-as-a-service (SaaS) implementation, but future rollouts will include infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS).
“Cloud computing, in particular, continues to increase compared with prior years, driven by economic conditions and a shift from capital expenditure to operational expenditure, as well as potentially more important factors such as faster deployment and reduced risk,” said Christine Arcaris, research director at Gartner.
Another opportunity area for growth is big data. While survey respondents did not categorize analytics as a top priority, it is definitely on the table and gaining momentum.
“Government organizations have increased big data spending for improper payment systems, indicating the desire to tackle fraud, waste and abuse within agencies, as well as target upfront errors in revenue collection,” Arcaris said. “While agencies are assessing how to manage, leverage and store big data, not many have addressed the challenges associated with the utilization of content and the issues associated with merging large amounts of data onto a single platform.”
Gartner conducted its enterprise IT spending study from June through September last year, and gathered data from respondents in 13 countries, including Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Respondents were questioned on general IT budget and spending plans, as well as on an expanded range of specific IT initiatives identified by Gartner.
The User Survey Analysis: IT Spending Priorities in Government, Worldwide 2013 report is available for $1,295 here on Gartner’s website.