Educational Tech Will Be Hot in 2000

State and local governments are sinking funds into education technology, making ed tech one of the hottest markets to watch in 2000, according to figures released Tuesday by Federal Sources Inc., a McLean, Va.-based market research firm.

Fueled by the push for higher educational standards, accountability and more funding sources, local governments are investing in information technology for education. "They believe technology is the path to their future, and they are making that investment now," said Tom Davies, vice president of Federal Sources. "There is no hotter vertical market moving forward than education."

At a government IT briefing Tuesday, Davies fingered other hot spots for 2000: electronic commerce, electronic government with statewide communications and Internet infrastructures, smart transportation and geographic information system applications that help improve the quality of life and manage economic and population growth.

Davies also predicted that many state and local agencies will begin turning over public records to companies that will manage and control public information. "This will fundamentally change the experience citizens have with government," Davies said.

State and local IT expenditures will continue to grow about $5 billion per year, from an estimated $50.7 billion this year to $55.8 billion in 2000, the analyst predicted.

Over the next two months, Federal Sources and the National Association of State Information Resource Executives will conduct a survey to better pinpoint state IT spending.

-- Meg Misenti (mmisenti@civic.com)

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