September 21, 2012 – While late in adoption compared with the private sector, state and local governments are betting on new savings, with billions of dollars toward new analytic, green and cloud implementations over the next few years, according to a new report from Pike Research.
The Pike report, entitled “Smart Government Technologies,” assessed business drivers and government plans for information and communication systems and data tools through 2017.
Pike’s range of “smart government” technology in the report is broad, covering analytics and cloud computing, as well as green tech, communications systems and application development platforms. Overall, that smart government investment by municipal hubs worldwide from 2011 through 2017 is rated in the report to hit $4.8 billion, according to Pike. In North America, over that same time period, investment by city and state government is anticipated to reach $1 billion. In a more detailed look at that forecast, Pike pegs the annual investment in cloud services by cities at $1.4 billion globally by 2017.
In a statement accompanying the results, Pike research director Eric Woods said: “Cloud-based computing, in particular, offers new options for cities that reduces capital expenditure, provides access to new skills and reduces time-to-deployment of new solutions. Cloud-based systems also enable cities to take advantage of the huge amounts of operational data they collect to improve efficiency and develop new services.”
Other anecdotal examples of modern tech investments cited in the report include the creation of new digital commerce tools in New York City and Manchester, systems in Seoul that enable application exports, and environmentally conscious upgrades in Denver and Copenhagen.
Cloud deployments and a range of new analytic capabilities are the focus of a range of federal programs, both ongoing and expected over the next year. But, as with most tech trends, the smaller tiers of government have been slow to adopt the heavily hyped tech trends. Along with the Pike report, there are indications that state and city governments are taking to the cloud and innovative data applications, as evident in the work of Boston’s CIO and in virtualized data strategies in Michigan and Utah.