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Top government IT trends for 2013

February 21, 2013

American City and County and the Public Technology Institute recently conducted their third annual survey of government IT, which experienced significantly higher turnout than previous years. The survey received 50 percent more responses than the previous year, with about 66 percent of responses from municipalities and 25 percent from counties. The remaining percentage came from state governments and special districts. The survey included questions regarding cloud computing, mobile use and other newer trends.

According to the news source, the biggest finding of the survey was that 79 percent of respondents reported increased spending over 2012, indicating stabilization and steady growth in government technology initiatives. About 61 percent of respondents noted that spending would increase across the board, while 31 percent said they would focus on public safety. Public works sat at the bottom of the list of important investments with only 9 percent of governing bodies focused on it.

What is more interesting is how they are using those increased budgets. Cloud computing initiatives were ranked particularly high, and many state, county and city governments were looking to significantly increase their use of mobile devices. Both trends indicate a migration of data and access needs, which means more local governments will need to invest in high-quality solutions to organize and management information.

Though many are planning to increase their IT budgets, 44 percent of respondents noted that they believe investing heavily in technology will allow them to reduce spending in the future. Those savings will allow local council's to react to citizen demands for transparency and open government more efficiently. However, there are a variety of other tools that municipalities can invest in to reduce spending in the long run.

Government 2.0 doesn't just mean investing in the latest trends, but investing in technology that improves the organization of and access to data as well. By investing in meeting management solutions like electronic voting software, a council will streamline meeting minutes and other data for both future meeting use and public access, addressing two concerns with one tool. These types of improvements reduce current spending, allowing government offices to do more with their budgets and accomplish more with those tools at the same time.