Tight Budgets Won't Slow State CIOs or Government IT

Efforts to bring more government services and info online are a focus of state CIOs in 2008.

In this time of economic uncertainty and tight budgets, governors nationwide aren't trimming IT budgets; they're spending as usual in the hope that IT initiatives can bring increased efficiency and new savings.

In its annual "State of the States: Technology Initiatives and Implications" report, government research firm Input found no evidence that state governments would cut projects or curb initiatives.

Forty-three of the 50 governors gave their State of the State speeches in time for the report. In all, the governors offered about 1,000 new initiatives, about 5 percent of which were IT-related, in line with past years, said Tim Brett, senior manager of state and local information services at Input.

Goldman Sachs and IDC predict a downturn in IT spending in 2008. Click either analyst company's name to read more.

"We don't see a lot of technology initiatives being put off," Brett said. "Even in times of fiscal stress, we see states keeping the number of IT initiatives the same or even increasing it."

Most of the IT project focus in 2008 falls on consolidation (both IT and otherwise), economic development and regulation, such as green IT efforts, and education. Many states have also undertaken efforts to bring more government information online, in what Brett calls "transparency" initiatives.