Gartner: Government CIOs spend 21% of IT budget on digital initiatives

By comparison, organisations active in both the private and public sectors spend 33% of IT budgets on digital initiatives.

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Gartner: Government CIOs spend 21% of IT budget on digital initiatives Howard: "Government CIOs in 2017 have an urgent obligation to look beyond their own organisations and benchmark themselves against top-performing peers within the public sector and from other service industries."
By  Alexander Sophoclis Pieri Published  May 10, 2017

According to Gartner's 2017 CIO Agenda survey, which collated responses from 2,598 CIOs from 93 countries, including 377 government CIOs in 38 countries, 21% of government organisations spend their IT budgets initiatives, while organisations active in the private and public sectors spend 33%.

Additionally, by 2018, those same organisations expect to spend up to 43% of IT budgets on digitisation, while government organisations are expected to commit only 28%.

Rick Howard, research vice president at Gartner, said that 2016 proved to be a watershed year in which frustration with the status quo of government was widely expressed by citizens at the voting booth and in the streets, accompanied by low levels of confidence and trust about the performance of public institutions.

"Government CIOs in 2017 have an urgent obligation to look beyond their own organisations and benchmark themselves against top-performing peers within the public sector and from other service industries. They must commit to pursuing actions that result in immediate and measurable improvements that citizens recognise and appreciate," said Howard.

Additional findings from the survey showed that government CIOs anticipate, as a group, a 1.4% average increase in their budgets, less than the 2.2% average increase across all industries. In the UAE, government CIOs expect a 3.5% average growth, which more than the 1% less on average that the IT budget growth amongst top-performing  organisations overall.

The data correlates with Gartner's own benchmark analytics, which has indicated that the average IT spending for state and local governments in 2016, equated to 4% of operating expenses, up from 3.6% in 2015. Meanwhile, national and international government organisations saw average IT spending as a percentage of operating expenses rise up to 9.4% in 2016, up from the 8.6% reported in 2015.

"Whatever the financial outlook may be, government CIOs who aspire to join the group of top performers must justify growth in the IT budget by clearly connecting all investments to lowering the business costs of government and improving the performance of government programs," concluded Howard.

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