What’s on governors’ technology wish lists?
According to INPUT’s recent analysis of governors’ technology priorities, state governments are channeling their technology budgets into a variety of areas.
“Forty-two governors proposed 1,045 new initiatives in their state-of-the-state speeches given between January and March of this year,” said Tim Brett, senior manager, state and local information services, for Reston, Va.-based INPUT. “Last year about 5 percent of those initiatives were technology-related. In a softening national economy, it is especially important for vendors to understand these priorities and position their solutions, services and products in a way that merges with governors’ priorities.”
Hot spots include health IT, consolidation, transparency and public safety interoperable communications, Brett added.
Federal cuts in Medicaid have motivated a number of state governors to make investments in health IT a priority.
“This year, 27 percent of governors discussed health IT, up from 14 percent in 2007,” said Sherry Ashby, principal analyst, health care and social services, for INPUT. “Governors want to reduce the cost of health care, improve quality and expand health insurance coverage. Facing federal cuts in Medicaid, governors are not waiting for the next presidential election to determine a national policy on the adoption of health IT; they are forging ahead with their own plans.”
States hopping on the ‘transparency bandwagon’
Analysis of state-of-the-states speeches and recommended budgets for 2009 indicated that transparency and consolidation also were hot spots for the coming year.
“Governors want to revive citizen trust in government and are using transparency Web sites that enable citizens to see how governments spend their tax dollars as one way of doing so,” said Jason Sajko, senior analyst, general government services, for INPUT. “When Alaska launched its Checkbook Online Web site in early February, they joined 10 other states that have transparency Web sites. Legislation enacted in three other states requires them to develop similar Web sites by early 2009 and INPUT expects more state and local governments to hop on the transparency bandwagon.”
Consolidation on some governors’ radars
Two governors urged technology consolidation in their state-of-the-state speeches and several others included funding in their budget requests for enterprise technology consolidation.
“But technology consolidation isn’t the only type of consolidation governors are considering,” Sajko explained. “They’re also encouraging consolidation of state agencies, local governments and school districts. Your account could be here today and gone tomorrow.”
Some technology applications discussed in the INPUT report include:
- General government services—In 2008, 69 percent of governors proposed initiatives in general government services, down from 80 percent a year ago. The top trends this year are increased accountability, efficiency, government consolidation in order to reduce duplicative spending and transparency.
- Health care—This year, 88 percent of governors proposed health care-related initiatives—the same percentage as last year.
- Justice and public safety—This year, 67 percent of governors discussed justice and public safety programs; that’s down slightly from 69 percent a year ago.
For more information on INPUT’s “State of the States 2008: Technology Initiatives and Implications Industry Insights” report, click here.