Technology purchases are on the rise, according to the Gartner technology research firm. “The U.S. state and local government IT market is turning the corner with a renewed focus on modernization and innovation, along with budgets back in positive territory,” say Gartner analysts. In its recent “Market Insight: State and Local Government IT Market Primer,” the firm notes that state and local enterprise IT budgets will reach $71.9 billion in 2016 and climb to $72.8 billion in 2017.

The ever-expanding Internet of Things (IoT), where devices, vehicles and other items are embedded with software, sensors and connectivity, is also helping loosen government agencies’ purse strings. Cisco’s Internet of Everything site predicts a $4.6 trillion market in IoT for the public sector in smart cities, outfitting the next-generation worker, traffic management and other apps.

“Anything related to open data and data management will see big growth” as a result of IoT implementations, says Andrew Hacker, Cyber Security Expert in Residence at Harrisburg University (Pa.) of Science and Technology. He tells GPN that governments will need to beef up their IT and network security if manufacturers of IoT products don’t have adequate safeguards and shields from mischief-makers.

Hacker says IoT device manufacturers do not take security and privacy into consideration during product development, “so there needs to be technology solutions that can augment IoT to make systems secure and keep information private.” He says that Harrisburg University is working on one such technology that will help bake in security and privacy functions into IoT technologies.

To help governments in their technology acquisition efforts, U.S. Communities has launched a national cooperative contract for technology products, services, solutions and related products and services with the following supplier partners:

·         Carahsoft awarded for Google for Work products, services and solutions,
·         DLT Solutions awarded for Amazon Web Services products, services and solutions,
·       Insight Public Sector awarded for technology products, services and solutions along with the following named partners: Cisco; HP Inc.; Hewlett Packard Enterprise; Dell; Panasonic; EMC; Commvault; Symantec; Veritas; VMware; Apple; Microsoft; Citrix; and NetApp, and   
·         UNICOM Government awarded for technology services and solutions.

The technology contract was awarded after the lead public agency, Fairfax County, Va., completed a competitive solicitation and evaluation process. This contract runs May 1, 2016 through April 30, 2019, with four one-year renewal options or any combination of time equaling not more than four years.

“We are confident that we have identified the best technology companies as partners to assist public agencies with driving organizational success and cost savings,” says Cathy Muse, CPPO. She is Director/Purchasing Agent at the Department of Purchasing & Supply Management in Fairfax County.

The exclusive contract gives more than 90,000 public sector entities such as state agencies, local governments, special districts, school districts, higher education institutions and nonprofit organizations access to technologies from the awarded suppliers and supplier partners.

“With this new technology contract, public agencies can utilize cutting-edge technologies at suppliers’s best government pricing while improving service and responsiveness,” says Kevin Juhring, Executive Director of U.S. Communities.

Go here to learn more about the national cooperative contract.

U.S. Communities will be staging a series of educational and informational webinars on the new technology cooperative contract. The first in the series of online training webinars starts May 17. The webinars are free but registration is required. Go here for details on the webinars.

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