Federal Spending Telework Expected To Increase - InformationWeek

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Government // Mobile & Wireless
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4/24/2008
12:16 PM
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Federal Spending Telework Expected To Increase

Telework Exchange issued a report underwritten by RIM that concluded that telework is becoming a significant factor in IT spending for the federal government.

Federal agencies are likely to spend more IT funds to support telework initiatives over the next two years, according to a new report.

Telework Exchange this week issued a report entitled, "What's in Your Portfolio? Federal Telework Investment Roadmap." The report, which was underwritten by Research In Motion, concluded that telework is becoming a significant factor in IT spending for the federal government.

Most respondents in a survey of 127 federal IT decision-makers said they consider telework requirements when making IT infrastructure decisions (52%), but just 18% of Department of Defense respondents and 25% of civilian respondents said they monitor the ROI from telework programs.

The report predicts that telework budgets will grow over the next two years, since 68% of respondents predicting telework spending to increase in that time. Respondents from the Defense Department indicated plans for spending increases of 15%, while civilian respondents indicated that they plan to increase spending by 17%.

Defense Department respondents said that base realignments and closures are a driving force behind telework investments as they seek continuity of operations.

Managers plan to buy smartphones and PDAs while rank-and-file employees plan to spend on laptops, according to the survey, which found that 72% of respondents consider smartphones an important element of a complete IT system.

"While some agencies have a full tank to get telework moving, there are many that are still running on empty," Cindy Auten, general manager of Telework Exchange, said in a news announcement. "The benefits of telework are clear -- from improved work/life balance and recruitment and retention, to supporting COOP [Continuity of Operations ] and BRAC [Base Realignment and Closures] initiatives."

Auten added that federal mandates on continuity of operations, energy conservation, and base closures support telework and agencies are increasingly creating telework line items in IT, personnel, and training budgets.

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