New Zealand bucks flat government IT spending trend

New Zealand bucks flat government IT spending trend

Local public sector IT spending expected to grow almost 1.4 percent this year, but elsewhere figure is a decrease of 0.1 percent from 2012.

Worldwide IT spending by government organisations is projected to total US$449.5 billion in 2013, a slight decrease of 0.1 percent from 2012, reports Gartner.

But not in New Zealand, where spending on IT products and services by government agencies is expected to grow almost 1.4 percent this year to reach more than $1.6 billion. Gartner says software and IT services spending are the main areas of growth, and estimates public sector IT spending locally will reach almost $1.8 billion by 2017. The forecast includes spending by government sector organisations on hardware, software, IT services and telecommunications. Across the globe, Gartner says government IT priorities for 2013 are mobile technologies, IT modernisation and cloud computing.

source: Gartner 2013 Analysts revised the growth rate downward from the previous forecast of 0.2 percent growth, as government agencies continue to struggle against weak economic development. The analyst firm says strong interest in professional services and big data continues. “Cloud computing, in particular, continues to increase compared with prior years, driven by economic conditions and a shift from capital expenditure to operational expenditure, as well as potentially more important factors such as faster deployment and reduced risk,” says Christine Arcaris, research director at Gartner. “Other areas, such as datacentre consolidation, are lower on the list than in previous years, perhaps demonstrating that they may have met resistance in a more strategic rollout.” Survey respondents reported they are adopting public and private cloud-based services at an increasing rate, with 30 to 50 percent planning for, or having an active IT services contract within the next 12 months. While the focus initially was on software-as-a-service (SaaS) implementation, future rollouts will include infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS). As the top priority, mobility is increasing in importance among government agencies worldwide. Demand is strongest in government agencies with more decentralised staff and those that have a large field workforce or specialised needs. The latter include border patrol agents, inspectors and social workers. Gartner says this next wave of technology adoption will develop over time, as agencies replace existing hardware with new mobile infrastructure and devices. Beyond BYOD The survey shows momentum is building for bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs, but questions continue.

BYOD strategies are not developed overnight, the report states. Important issues to consider include increased costs, network utilisation and devices that can be appropriately supported.

Some agencies focus on policies related to network access and governance, while others look toward the business end, limiting the deployment of BYOD devices until a more tactical approach, including security, is established, it says.

Devices that can help achieve an agency's main goals should take priority, such as those for videoconferencing, multichannel communication or service delivery assessments by field workers. Of the organisations surveyed, over half (52 percent) said employees are allowed to bring their own smartphones to work, and 50 percent can use their own laptop, followed by tablets at 38 percent. Gartner says, however, security and governance may limit the pace and adoption of BYOD. The survey also notes while big data is not yet a high priority among respondents, it is gaining momentum. The focus on government efficiency and effectiveness means opportunity for big data/analytics, as these represent an emerging focal point for specific government modernisation. “Government organisations have increased big data spending for improper payment systems, indicating the desire to tackle fraud, waste and abuse within agencies, as well as target upfront errors in revenue collection,” says Arcaris. “While agencies are assessing how to manage, leverage and store big data, not many have addressed the challenges associated with the utilisation of content and the issues associated with merging large amounts of data onto a single platform.”

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