Study gauges interest in cloud computing, green IT

CompTIA study of federal, state and local officials also finds a push toward social networking

Government agencies faced with limited resources are leaning toward approaches such as cloud computing and going green, according to the results of a new study released by CompTIA, a non-profit information technology trade association.

The study surveyed 542 information technology decision-makers and influencers employed in federal, state and local government organizations in the fourth quarter of 2009.

“Tight budgets often spur creativity and can increase the willingness to try new approaches,” said Tim Herbert, vice president, research, CompTIA. “Our research points to government interest in software-as-a-service solutions, cloud computing, virtualization and social networking initiatives as evidence of the need to meet the dual goals of containing costs and modernizing technology.”


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The survey found that one in three government IT professionals expect to implement a social networking initiative in the next 12 months, independent of any stimulus funds their agency may receive.

In addition, the cost savings and environmental benefits associated with green IT increasingly are factors that enter into the IT purchase equation, particularly at the federal and state level, Herbert said. Roughly three in four government IT buyers expect to implement a power management solution or more energy efficient technology over the next year, the survey found.

The most significant challenges government organizations face with regard to the purchase and/or implementation of IT products and initiatives concern budgets and resources, the study found. Reduced budget and lack of resources was cited as a challenge by 62 percent of federal respondents, 63 percent of state respondents and 65 percent of local or municipal respondents.

While there are many similar struggles, federal, state and local agencies also have some differences. At the federal level, keeping up with the rapidly changing technology landscape is a top concern, cited by 58 percent, compared with 41 percent of those representing local governments. In contrast, state governments express greater concern over the need to upgrade outdated IT systems and improve interoperability. Local governments have the greatest need for enhancing the technical skill sets of their employees -- 52 percent cited that as a challenge; 46 percent of federal and state government respondents did so.

CompTIA’s Government IT Spending Plans study is available for free for member companies. It can be accessed at http://www.comptia.org/research.aspx or by contacting research@comptia.org.

About the Author

Kathleen Hickey is a freelance writer for GCN.

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