10 predictions for government IT in 2013

Consolidation, cloud, mobile computing and lots more data will drive federal, state and local government use of information technology in 2013, according to the latest predictions by market research firm IDC Government Insights.

"Operational efficiency and mission effectiveness are the key drivers for IT value in government in 2013," said Thom Rubel, vice president of IDC Government Insights. "Government organizations are rapidly adopting "third-platform technologies" -- which IDC defines as mobile computing, cloud services, social networking and big data analytics --  in tactical ways that will quickly transcend to broader 'smart' strategies, Rubel said.

Rubel, along with fellow IDC Government Insights analysts Ruthbea Clarke, Shawn McCarthy and Adelaide O'Brien, highlighted 10 market predictions for the year ahead at a Dec. 4. Web conference.

IDC's top 10 market predictions are:

  1. Cloud-created consolidation. Infrastructure consolidation will hit its peak as governments accelerate cloud adoption by more than 50 percent over 2012 levels, accounting for more than 7 percent of all government IT spending.
  2. Tactical take on big data. Deployments of big data solutions will grow by more than a 30 percent compound annual growth rate and will drive more analytics deployment, laying the foundation for smart government with specific emphasis on mission/operations improvement and sentiment analysis. 
  3. Identification of best-use devices. Agencies, organizations and offices will rapidly begin to rationalize and establish baseline costs for IT assets and identify endpoint device choices – PCs, tablets, and smart phones – for "best use."
  4. Records management issues. Mobile devices and apps, smart sensors, cloud computing solutions and citizen-facing portals will create a surge in digital information, creating new records management access and retrieval issues.
  5. New procurement models. Cloud sharing/collaboration among governments (federal, state, and local) and shared services will account for 18 percent of the government cloud market and create new business models for IT procurement and provisioning.
  6. Rise of social analytics. Though they continue to lag behind other industries in investing in social business software, 35 percent of government organizations will initiate social analytics tools evaluation and/or use.
  7. Ever more mobile. All levels of government will accelerate mobile applications development. In 2013, 35 percent of new federal and state applications will be mobile and 45 percent of new local applications will be mobile.
  8. Smart cities. Over 40 percent of local governments will be in the research and evaluation stage for smart city pilots and projects, and 50 percent of these start rolling in 2013.
  9. Opportunities for open data. Government organizations that promote open data will generate 25 percent more private commercial activity in apps and services that will improve outcomes on a range of government goals.
  10. More partnerships. Public/private partnerships will be redefined based on goals and outcomes that create mutual partnership and research benefits.

Altogether, the coming year will present significant changes in government [and] commercial partnerships to achieve mutual goals," Rubel said. 

The third-platform technologies that IDC sees agencies adopting were also prominent in last year's predictions.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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