Governments are embracing new systems and products, including citizen engagement technology, which ranked third in an exclusive E-survey of readers of Penton magazine/sites Government Product News and American City & County. The question we asked our local and state government audience: In which of the following new technology areas is your agency or department purchasing in the next 18 months? Check all that apply.

Modernization of business applications and security ranked number 1 and 2 in responses to question number 5 in the survey. The cloud and cost reduction ranked 4 and 5, respectively, in the technology question.

Survey respondents wrote in a variety of other tech products that governments plan to buy, including:
--Fiber optics/Phone system—two votes for this category
--Email archive/search system
--All new enterprise resource planning (ERP) software
--Work order software
--New financial system

--Tablets that will help a city council go totally paperless for ordinance prep and committee meeting reports

Government IT decision makers are increasingly showing interest in adopting cloud-based solutions, says Diamond Chaflawee, who is the Director of Product Marketing and Business Development of the Public Safety sector for NICE Systems. His photo is below on the right. The company taps into the power of data to help organizations improve business performance, increase operational efficiency, prevent financial crime and ensure compliance

Governments are using the cloud, says Chaflawee, “for both mission-critical technologies, like computer-aided design (CAD) and call handling, as well as non-mission-critical technologies, such as 3-1-1 citizen request management (CRM) and audio archiving.”

He explains that the same benefits that have driven businesses into the cloud hold true in the government sector. “These benefits include ease of scalability and expansion, freedom of system maintenance, and capital expenditure versus operating expenditure considerations.”

Chaflawee adds that the transition to Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) is driving multiple agencies to adopt a hosted solution on a shared private network called the Emergency Services IP network (ESInet).

Given the government's desire to do more with less, technology that can save money will be a focus in all of 2015, says Chris LaPoint, VP Product Management at SolarWinds. “Interoperability will become increasingly important as the state and local governments look to consolidate resources, integrate new technology with existing legacy systems, and facilitate better collaboration between departments and with private industry.”

LaPoint (photo to the left) adds that tools that provide visibility into existing technology investments will be critical. “Primary among these will be continuous monitoring software that ensures systems remain compliant, secure and running smoothly, and asset management solutions for tracking technology resources and ensuring up-to-date maintenance,” says LaPoint.

SolarWinds offers products and tools that solve a range of IT management challenges – whether those challenges are related to networks, servers, applications, storage or virtualization.

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