Severe revenue pressures with most US state and local governments, the new requirements for citizen privacy protection and tightened homeland security concerns are putting pressure on government CIOs to do more with less. Giga, a wholly owned subsidiary of Forrester Research, Inc. (NASDAQ: FORR), has published government-specific reports detailing government CIOs’ top priorities and opportunities.

According to one report, government CIOs’ top priorities include:

  • Cutting IT costs — from IT portfolio management strategies to consolidation
  • Outsourcing — from desktop support to data center
  • Staffing — obtaining the right talent
  • Finding the right IT organization — time for more centralization
  • Integration — tying systems together in and between departments and levels
  • E-government — focusing on e-re-engineering projects and eCRM projects
  • Security — meeting Homeland Security demands
  • Investing in new technologies — portals, J2EE and.NET, Linux and wireless LANs/WANs

Related Research Explores Issues in Detail
The Structure of Government IT

Government IT is consolidating both the technology and the organization and putting more resources in cross-agency structures such as architecture and the program management office (PMO) while investing in groups that maintain the responsiveness of IT — planning, architecture and vendor management.

Due Diligence in Planning Will Uncover Major Productivity Improvement Opportunities
Whether under the mantle of modernization initiatives, strategic planning exercises or enterprise architecture (EA) programs, government IT units should proactively work with the business units they support to find inefficiencies crying out for IT solutions.

Information Security
The primary challenges to information security in government agencies are (a) demands to share data across agencies and jurisdictions to support homeland security; (b) increased privacy and security legislation/regulation; and (c) the general need to instill public confidence in government — confidence in the ability of government to protect citizens physically as well as individual data collected and controlled by government bodies.

Developing Consistency Across Web Sites
To address the issues of sharing content and maintaining consistency across sites, government agencies and departments should develop a senior management committee that aligns the organization’s Web site policies with the strategic objectives of the organization and establishes policies, guidelines and procedures for maintaining the consistency of Web sites and the creation and reuse of content across the organization.

Mobile IT
The public sector can (and in many cases already does) make use of mobile technology in a diverse array of circumstances to deliver greater efficiency, faster response, better enforcement, improved monitoring of how taxpayers’ money is spent and higher levels of service to citizens.

Electronic Payment Capabilities
With cost cutting a priority for most governments, especially at the state and local level in the US, an electronic presentment (bill or invoice) and payment (EPP) solution, combined with online electronic payments and payment kiosks, can automate processes, improve cash flow, reduce costs and improve service, benefiting both government suppliers and citizens.

Intelligent Content Services
Government agencies can use intelligent content services in a variety of ways, with the three most prevalent being: (1) pattern recognition and other forms of content analysis to support homeland security and other intelligence initiatives; (2) collaboration support, primarily to identify people within and between agencies who can assist in the achievement of a goal or task; and (3) creation of universal access to content sources from multiple vendors and content repositories.

Business Intelligence
The shift within the government sector toward a centrally managed BI solution will allow IT managers the opportunity to rationalize redundant BI technology, particularly online analytical processing (OLAP), analytic reporting and enterprise reporting solutions implemented by individual departments within the organization.

Governments Favor Brand and Homegrown Suppliers When Buying International Telecoms
Government buyers of telecommunication services need to track implicit buying practices in addition to explicit procurement policies to avoid complaints from users and contested grants from service providers.

The research mentioned in this press release is available to Giga Advisory clients and can be found through