IT spending forecast strong

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It has been a very good year for information technology vendors in the federal sector, and next year should be strong too, according to the latest study by Input, a technology think tank.

Government IT spending continues to grow, according to Input. In fiscal 2002, the government spent $19.3 billion in the civilian sector alone. In fiscal 2003, which began Oct. 1, the sector is expected to spend $20.5 billion and, in fiscal 2004, spending is estimated at $22.9 billion.

The projections are similar for defense spending too. In fiscal 2002, the defense sector spent $17.8 billion. In fiscal 2003, it's expected to spend $19.8 billion and in fiscal 2004, $21.8 billion.

The study said vendors have many opportunities to help government.

On the homeland security front, vendors can help government identify solutions. In electronic government, they can present full solutions, not quick fixes. In information assurance, they can make security a part of every solution, and in procurement, they can track the preferred buying vehicles, Input said.

"There are opportunities for vendors in all these areas," said Kevin Plexico, Input's executive vice president, at the company's annual FedFocus conference Oct. 23 in Reston, Va.

Still, chief information officers are well aware they must get the biggest bang out of the government's buck.

"The last thing we want to do is create new costs," said Mayi Canales, the outgoing acting CIO at the Treasury Department who spoke via a video presentation.

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