Fifty-five percent of local(IT) budgets will decrease over the next two years as a result of the economic slowdown, according to the results of a national survey conducted by the Washington-based Public Technology Institute (PTI). Travel and education budgets have been particularly hard hit, and respondents to "The State of City and County IT 2009" said they expect that trend to continue into 2011.
The survey, which is in its second year and targets local government chief information officers (CIO) and IT department directors, found that 71 percent of respondents said IT department travel and education budgets will decrease over the next two years. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said that their IT staff development and training budgets will decrease through 2011, while 41 percent said that those budget items will remain the same as in this year's budget.
In last year's survey, 38 percent of respondents stated that staff development and training would decrease over the next two years, while 52 percent stated the budget item would remain the same. "IT agencies maintain a vital function in the local government enterprise, and IT cuts across all service areas; however, these same agencies are strapped for critical resources," said PTI Executive Director Alan Shark in a statement. "With declining revenue streams, cities and counties are forced to rethink how technology services are provided to both the public and internal agencies and customers."
Asked to identify their high priority issues for the next 12 to 18 months, 50 percent of CIOs selectedand interoperability, while 43 percent said e-government/collaboration with citizens would be top priorities. Respondents to the 2008 survey also said those issues were high priorities.
PTI and Reston, Va.-based INPUT, which cosponsored the survey, will hold a webinar to analyze the survey results. "State of City & County IT 2009 National Survey: An INPUT and PTI Analyst Webinar," is scheduled for Nov. 19 from 2-2:45 p.m. To register for the free webinar, go to http://www.pti.org/index.php/ptiee1/more/555/. A report summarizing the survey findings is available at http://www.pti.org/index.php/ptiee1/more/555/.