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Federal IT Spending To Reach $112 Billion

More than five percent growth is predicted for Federal IT spending spurred by the Obama's administration cost-saving and transparency goals.
Federal IT spending will grow 5.4 percent to $112 billion by 2015 thanks to the Obama's administration's plan to use technology to achieve key cost-saving and transparency measures, according to a research report released Tuesday.

IT is an integral factor in some of the Obama administration's near-term priorities, which will bolster growth in federal IT spending even though spending in this sector remains largely conservative, according to the according to the Federal Information Technology Market 2010-2015 report released by INPUT.

Administration priorities to improve how the government engages both with the public and among agencies hinge on technology, as do cybersecurity measures and a focus to increase program oversight and performance.

The government also is eyeing technology to help reduce energy costs, according to the report, which was released on the same day as another one analyzing the Obama administration's plan to consolidate data centers to achieve this goal.

But even as the White House invests in technology to improve transparency and citizen engagement, it lacks the personnel necessary to achieve those goals. This means there will still be plenty of contracts awarded to IT professionals serving the federal government, according to the report. This is counter to some concerns among federal contractors, who feared the government would tap internal professionals for the job.

"The criticality of IT to government operations and priorities, as well as the gap in federal IT expertise, suggests that IT spending will continue with modest growth," INPUT analyst John Slye said in a press statement. He co-authored the report with analyst Deniece Peterson.

INPUT surveyed 119 people via telephone interviews in May to gather research for the report. Of those surveyed, 66 are federal IT and program managers and 53 are executives in various government-related industries.

Researchers also asked government IT professionals which technologies will get more attention in the next five years. Not surprisingly, cloud computing topped the list, with 67 percent of respondents saying it will receive new or increased focus. IT security was close behind, with 62 percent of those surveyed acknowledging a greater focus there.

Virtualization (48 percent), IT modernization (38 percent), infrastructure consolidation (35 percent) and telework (26 percent) also are priorities for the government sector, according to the report.