Government to up spending on IT again, research predicts

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The government’s budget for IT spending is on the up again.

Government chief information officers (CIOs) will start spending more over the coming years as the period of austerity that has been restricting their investment activity starts to ease off.

This is the prediction of analyst Gartner, which carried out an extensive survey during the last quarter of 2012 and has suggested that IT spending in the government and education sectors will rise by 1.3 per cent a year up to 2017.

Most of this will be concentrated on IT services, software and data centres, while internal technology services and devices are likely to see reductions in spending.

Gartner research director Rick Howard said: "After years of being told to do more with less, many government CIOs report that budgets have stabilised or are increasing, placing them in a better position to deliver and manage IT services more effectively and efficiently."

When asked about their priorities for 2013, respondents said delivering operational results and improving IT applications and infrastructure are the most important.

In terms of technology, legacy modernisation, cloud computing and mobile devices were the biggest priorities for people in government IT departments.

This suggests that making IT systems more user-friendly and accessible is going to be a big focus over the coming years, something that could be achieved using document scanning solutions to allow employees to bring their own devices into the workplace.

Back in December 2012, the Cabinet Office revealed that the National Apprenticeship Service would be among the first digital-by-default departments, followed by part of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Intellectual Property Office.

Making HMRC’s online tax self-assessment programme digital will also help 30 million ‘pay as you earn’ taxpayers, as well as securing document storage.

It is all part of a wider drive to cut spending and save public money, as well as making the government more accountable for its budgets.

This comes after the Office for National Statistics revealed that inflation had declined by 0.1 per cent in July 2013.

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