Governments are investing in high-speed wired and wireless networks
Government field workers—including health and facility inspectors, social workers, emergency teams and event coordinators—can carry their offices wherever they travel, thanks to wireless technology that many agencies and departments are buying.
According to a recent Frost & Sullivan report, “U.S. Government Vertical Communication Service and Solution Markets,” these wireless communications tools can boost productivity and employee efficiency. According to the report, the networks make it easier to share schedules, forms and data. They also make coordinating with colleagues and supervisors seamless, leading to fewer scheduling conflicts.
Purchases of wireless networks are just one part of total government spending for telecom/IT hardware, software, IT services and professional/consulting IT services. In 2008, state and local governments will spend more than $56 billion on telecom/IT products and services, rising to almost $65 billion in 2010. Annual growth rates in spending will be in the high single digits, Frost & Sullivan analysts predicted in their report.
Civilian departments now spending the majority of telecom/IT dollars
Frost & Sullivan researchers noted that federal-agency spending on telecom/IT products and services reached $66.2 billion in 2006. In the years ahead, civilian departments will account for about 53 percent of that spending, with the balance—47 percent—coming from defense agencies. That’s a change from earlier years in the decade, when defense agencies spent the majority of federal telecom/IT budget dollars.
“Other technologies that are likely to draw greater government spending include unified messaging, conferencing and collaboration applications and unified communications,” Frost & Sullivan Senior Industry Analyst Roopashree Honnachari said. “These applications enable users to handle the increasing communication load more efficiently by accessing all of their messages through a single interface.”
The technology, Honnachari added, enables users to identify the most appropriate means (email, phone, etc.) to reach their colleagues, partners and customers.
IT security spending could grow by double digits
Security measures to tackle the vulnerability issues of IP-based networks are likely to gain traction in the government market, Frost & Sullivan explained in its report. Annual spending-growth rates in government on firewalls, virtual private networks and other security tools could reach the double digits in the years ahead, Frost & Sullivan analysts predicted.
Frost & Sullivan surveyed governments on the challenges that they face in adopting new IT/telecom technologies and found that a limit on budgets was the biggest challenge; about 40 percent cited budget limitations as a major restraint. Other challenges noted in the survey include:
- Higher prices of new/advanced technologies (38.2 percent).
- Potential downtime associated with new technology migration (36 percent).
Security concerns (33.9 percent).
“Vendors could take a cue from the above results to address some of the challenges and thereby enhance their competitiveness,” Honnachari said. “For example, vendors could develop innovative funding mechanisms to address the higher-prices issue.”
Frost & Sullivan analysts believe that managed-storage service providers (MSSPs) will play an important role in the state- and local-government storage-management markets, primarily due to the retirement of a major portion of IT staff, and also due to compelling cost benefits offered by managed-storage service providers. MSSPs typically offer turnkey services including design, deployment and migration of data as well as several types of service-level agreements that guarantee performance and availability of services.
For more information on the “U.S. Government Vertical Communication Service & Solution Markets” report, click here.