Low-tech sectors to see more IT spending
Cash-strapped state, local and education (SLED) agencies started feeling the budget pinch around April 2014 and began reeling in their IT spending compared to the previous year.
But while IT departments were decreasing their investments, other areas like education, law enforcement and road construction have been “using technology to better meet their objectives while reducing overall (non-IT) costs,” according to a recent report by Onvia, a government business development consultant.
More communities are investing in body cameras to document the behaviors of public safety officers as a means to increase accountability. Reports indicate body camera technology has doubled from 2013 to 2014. In fact, President Obama recently requested $263 million for body cameras at the state and local level. In the past, municipalities have paid between $50,000 and $ 1 million for body camera contracts, and there are potentially 9,000 departments that are interested in similar procurements in 2015, Onvia said.
Similarly, communities are also projected to increase investment and procurement of school bus cameras to ensure greater student safety. Most commonly, buses are outfitted with three cameras – inside and outside – and some communities have invested in equipping their entire bus fleet with them.
The education sector has rapidly increased the use of tablets and laptops to keep up with global technology proliferation trends. Tablet contracting increased 21 percent between 2013 and 2014, and this growth is expected to continue. In 2013, 85 percent of Chromebooks sold were placed in school systems, which numbered 2.5 million devices. Other vendors, like Curricula, have focused on bringing technology such as 3D printing into the classroom.
As more people primarily use their mobile devices to access the Internet, governments are making their services and websites more mobile friendly. As such, state and local governments are investing in open data and engagement tools as well as crowdsourcing technology to help drive innovation.
Procurement of intelligent transportation systems has increased by 13 percent, Onvia reported, a trend that is also expected to continue. Intelligent transportation systems are used by state and local governments to alleviate traffic congestion through a combination of sensors, computers and fiber optic networks that update traffic signals in real time based on the current traffic.
The full report is available from the Onvia website.
Posted by Mark Pomerleau on Jan 13, 2015 at 10:25 AM