New Govs have IT on the brain, new report indicates

A new report finds technology agenda items among the 37 incoming governors played a more important role during the 2010 campaigns than in past elections. IT-specific promises ranged from enhancing educational performance and streamlining business regulations, to making government operations more transparent.

INPUT pulled over 400 initiatives from campaign speeches and dictums in their latest report, IT Implications of Governors’ Elections. Technology agenda items were collected by both parties in each of the gubernatorial elections, many of which were aligned with major federal priorities, Chris Dixon, manager of Industry Analysis at INPUT said.

“Several governors, including John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii, and Martin O’Malley of Maryland, featured large numbers of IT-specific agenda items in their campaign platforms,” Dixon said in a statement, continuing that the trend straddled both parties and all regions.

The report listed agenda items according to twelve verticals including public safety, social services, community development and transportation. Among the most often cited needed uses of technology, general government services, economic development and education topped the list.

“We saw a surge in mentions of K through 12 educational consolidation, virtual learning, smart classrooms, and blending of the high school and collegiate curriculum,” Dixon said.

This report seems to indicate a growing acknowledgement among state executives of the importance IT plays in furthering their platforms. But the report warns that many times governors do not have technology implications in mind when making policy decisions.

“At the strategic level, most states will look to consolidate agencies and functions at both the state and local levels to gain savings and escape the fiscal turmoil of the last few years,” said Dixon, which will increase opportunities for the over $17 billion in estimated FY 2011 state IT spending.

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