Gartner: Government Spending Lags on Digital Initiatives

Gartner: Government Spending Lags on Digital Initiatives

Governments around the world, including the UK, are spending a lower percentage of their IT budgets on digital initiatives when compared with the private sector, or other parts of the public sector, according to a new report by Gartner.

Based on a worldwide survey of 2,598 CIOs from 93 countries, responsible for $292 billion in IT spend, Gartner concludes that government organisations are spending 21 per cent of their IT budget on digital initiatives. This is considerably less than top-performing organisations in the private and public sectors who spend a third of their IT budget on digital. This is likely to increase to 43 per cent in 2018 compared with 28 per cent for government CIOs.

For this year, Government CIOs anticipate a 1.4 percent average increase in IT budgets, compared with an average 2.2 percent increase across all industries. Local government CIOs fare better, averaging 3.5 per cent growth, but this is still considerably less than the expected IT budget growth among top-performing organisations as a whole (4.6 percent).

Future Technologies and Barriers

The survey also provided some interesting pointers covering the technologies with the ‘most potential to change their organisations over the next five years’.

Across all levels of government, advanced analytics held top spot (79%) followed by digital security (57%). For local governments, the Internet of Things was seen as being important (68%). All levels of government presently see less opportunity in machine learning or the Blockchain.

‘Skills or resource’ constraints were reported as being the most important barrier to digital transformation by 26 per cent of the government CIOs surveyed, followed by ‘funding or budgets’ (19%), ‘culture or organisational structure’ barriers (12%).

In terms of skills shortages, the government sector is particularly lacking in data analytic skills (30%). To bridge this skills gap, governments should extend their network of experts by working with outside agencies, according to Gartner.

The study concludes that:

“Government CIOs have an urgent obligation to look beyond their own organisation and benchmark themselves against top-performing peers within the public and private sectors. They should commit to pursuing actions that result in immediate and measurable improvements that citizens recognise and appreciate.”

You can access a more detailed summary of the report here – Gartner Report.

The full Gartner CIO 2017 Agenda report can be downloaded here – Seize the Digital Ecosystem Opportunity (registration may be required).