Researchers found for every $1 governments spend on IT resources, the new technologies generate $3.50 in savings. Not only can investment in IT innovation help governments expand services to the public, but also increase long-term savings and sustainability.
A study published in Management Science revealed IT spending is directly correlated to reduced state government expenditures, while simultaneously supporting an expansion of the role of government. Governments are using IT innovations to be more efficient, productive and transparent. The threefold savings were an unexpected perk, Computerworld reported.
Many governments struggle to identify the immediate savings associated with new IT investments as the technologies typically enable agencies to expand services and provide more for the public. However, a team of researchers looked at the impact of IT solutions on overall state budgets to find for every $1 increase in technology spending there was a $3.50 reduction in state government spending, Computerworld reported.
Some of the tech-related savings can be linked to:
- Automated processes
- Higher levels of productivity
- Oversight of administrative processes
- Reduced transaction costs
Furthermore, the latest technologies help governments meet evolving needs of the public more effectively.
Where To Spend
In Computerworld’s annual forecast of IT spending revealed 43 percent of CIOs in the public and private sectors plan to increase their IT budgets in 2015, up from 36 percent in 2014. On average, CIOs predict spending will jump 13.1 percent, with a strong focus on these five areas:
A slew of high-profile security breaches have prompted governments to tighten security measures. According to the forecast, 46 percent of CIOs will invest more in access control, intrusion prevention, identity management, and virus or malware protection in 2015.
- Cloud Computing
More than 40 percent of respondents are interested in spending more on software as a service (SaaS) technologies – specifically mixing public, private, and community cloud computing solutions this year. These investments mark a shift away from spending on infrastructure and supporting a more versatile work environment.
- Business Analytics
About 38 percent of CIOs will dedicate more money toward analytics, data mining and intelligence solutions in 2015. Cities can leverage big data tools to gather information throughout the community and analyze the results to extract key insights. Such information is vital to more efficient and sustainable development strategies.
- Application Development or Replacement
Another 38 percent of respondents will spend more money on developing, upgrading or replacing applications. At the state and local government level, many agencies are partnering with the private sector to develop applications to improve key services such as infrastructure management or permitting.
Nearly 35 percent of CIOs plan to invest in RFID technology, remote access tools, Wi-Fi, mobile devices and mobile management systems. Many IT decision makers are looking at the infrastructure and custom applications that better connect government agencies or increase transparency to the public.
In the public sector specifically, Deltak research predicts state and local spending on information goods and services to increase 3.3 percent between 2015 and 2019. Governments will be implementing these new solutions and services in key growth sectors:
- General government operations
As local governments have successfully paid off debts, most CIOs anticipate continued increases in IT spending moving forward.