With the technological advances made in the private sector, and the changes for most US citizens in daily life because of them, there has been a marked upswing of government Information Technology (IT) spending in the last several years in particular. What has followed our reliance on technology in everyday life seems to have created a change in our collective expectations of the capabilities and everyday functionality of our government.
With this change, of course, comes an increase in government IT spending both to implement new systems and solutions, and to maintain these ideals going forward. According to comparebusinessphones.com, a buying resource for the business systems industry, government interest in business phone systems in particular has risen more than 1.3% over the last two years. This increase in research and implementation of business-class IT assets seems to have been set in motion in early 2009 and shows no signs of slowing down.
A Shift in 2009
When Vivek Kundra was appointed as the United States’ first Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the White House in 2009, he was charged with “making sure our government is running in the most secure, open, and efficient way possible,” by President Obama. What followed was a shift in the US government’s attitude and practices toward IT spending and implementation that carry forward to today. Kundra was quoted by the Washington Post in 2009 as saying “Everyone knows there have been spectacular failures when it comes to technology investments. Now for the first time the entire country can see how we’re spending money and give us input,” while unveiling a new government website designed to track the (then) more than $70 billion in US technology spending.
The addition of Kundra’s role and the increased transparency of the US government’s technology practices and solutions has led to an increase in public discourse around the subject and a greater acceptance of the idea that our government can and should function efficiently in this modern world. Consumer information and research groups such as comparebusinessproducts.com have seen a marked increase in interest from government agencies throughout the past year as well.
The Government Relies on Technology
While it may not seem like it at first thought, the government relies on technology in much the same way as private industry does, using it to automate tasks, improve process efficiency, and ultimately to function with fewer people. The obvious area of use for government technology is in the military, but it is used in all facets of government from public service administration to communications. These agencies are increasingly turning to high-tech answers to problems in order to cut costs and improve operations.
Government IT Uses:
• Improved Efficiency With Reduced Personnel
• Increased Communications Speed and Efficiency
• Increased Functionality and Response to Public
• Tracking and Accountability
No Going Back
With the changing attitude toward government efficiency despite continual budgetary issues and a shrinking government workforce, it would appear that the increase in government IT spending over the past two years is a trend that will not subside. Websites such as comparebusinessproducts.com continue to report an increase in government agencies as clients through the first half of 2011, and expect to see further increases as systems are increasingly automated and updated to reflect the public’s expectations.