More Cloud, Fewer Contact Centers Predicted For Feds
Work mandated by the Open Government Directive will bring an increase in cloud computing adoption and consolidation of contact centers in 2011, according to research firm IDC.
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The year will see some organizational changes at the federal IT level as well, IDC predicted. The agency's number 7 prediction for the year is that the government's IT operating expenses will overtake its capital expenses. The move to cloud computing and away from making IT equipment purchases -- the latter of which fall into the capital expenses category – will drive this trend, the firm said.
The nature of a cloud computing model -- in which computing capacity is paid for as an ongoing operational service and not a one-off expenditure -- makes payment for services an operating expense. This change will eventually eliminate capital expenses in federal IT departments, according to IDC.
Another organizational change that will happen in 2011 for federal IT departments is that line of business and program owners will begin guiding the procurement of IT, with government IT and procurement organizations taking a backseat, according to IDC. In the past, it was the other way around, the firm said, which resulted in a waste of money, time, and resources because many bad decisions were made by people who didn't understand the particular needs of a project. "Government business and program owners are now at the point where they will begin to more heavily influence IT applications and solution decisions to achieve desired outcomes," according to IDC.
Not all of IDC's predictions for government IT in 2011 were positive. Ninth on the list is that rising information management and open-records challenges will begin to have a negative impact on agency operations. These problems will prevent access to critical operational information required for decision making and mission deployment, the firm said.
Government agencies are collapsing under the weight of the information they gather and store because they don't have adequate systems to handle the workload. This is a situation that must be remedied, the firm said. "Effective, secure management of information, with easy and timely retrieval that minimizes any burden on the public, is crucial for government agencies to meet their mission requirements and efficiently serve citizens," according to IDC.
Other predictions for 2011 include a tipping point for mobile devices and technologies that will change how and where government employees work; an evolution of "smart governments" that leverage strategic technology frameworks to meet specific policy goals; and consolidation in the IT industry that serves the government, which will lead to changes in IT procurement, according to the firm.