Study: Budgets Down for Local IT

City and county IT leaders rank public safety, interoperability and e-government services as top priorities.

More than half of local IT budgets will decrease over the next two years as a result of the economic slowdown, according to a new survey on city and county IT.

Conducted by the Public Technology Institute (PTI) and Input, the State of City and County IT 2009 National Survey is based on responses from 203 officials in city and county government. The survey was conducted in August and September and the results released in November.

A full 55 percent of respondents reported their budget will decrease through 2011, compared with 38 percent in 2008. However, 39 percent predict their overall IT budgets will stay the same and a lucky 6 percent forecast budgets to increase during this period. IT travel and education budgets are particularly hard hit, with 71 percent of respondents anticipating decreases in this area, and another 57 percent expecting decreases to staff development and training.

Most cities or counties spend between 1 percent and 3 percent of their city or county's annual revenue on IT, according to the findings.

Public safety and interoperability remain top priorities for 50 percent of state and county IT leaders, with another 39 percent rating it as a priority. E-government services, including interactive and collaborative tools, were rated next highest, garnering 43 percent of responses as a high priority and 42 percent as a priority.

Fifty percent of respondents listed integration of IT into public works and facilities infrastructure a priority. Green IT was another priority, and video surveillance for public safety and security were next on the list, with 46 percent and 43 percent, respectively.

Somewhat surprisingly, 94 percent of CIOs stated that their agencies didn't receive any direct funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. However, 25 percent believe it is likely they will receive funding.

You can find the PTI report at, as well as information about a Nov. 19 webinar that PTI and Input will host about the findings.

Nov 12 2009