State and Local Gov Unprepared For Many IT Shifts


A new report from Meritalk shows that state and local government IT departments are unprepared for a number of big IT initiatives already happening at the federal level. Data center consolidation, mobility, security, big data, and cloud computing – promise to improve agency performance, productivity, and service but they also require specific skills and resources IT departments may not have in place.

According to the report, most state and local organizations plan to fully deploy those five projects in the next three years, but almost all (94%) say their agency is not fully prepared for the resulting demands on the IT organization. Respondents say if they pushed forward on all five now, 63% would face moderate to significant network bottleneck risks and 89% say they would need additional network capacity to just maintain current service levels.

As demand for infrastructure rapidly outstrips the supply, capacity isn’t all that will suffer. Much of the implementation of these five initiatives has happened without a synchronized effort resulting in additional challenges. 59% say that their agency will face new security risks. 55% say bandwidth limitations will become problematic as well storage limitations (44%). 40% add that network latency will also be a problem as departments ramp up these changes.

Instead of asking for better budgets, IT pros are just looking for more consistency. Report data shows that IT departments are more or less resigned to inconsistent budgets, rapidly changing appointees and other common hurdles. What they really want is a consistent plan that outlasts short-term swaps in personnel and funding so that implementation is coordinated and less demanding on IT systems.

More than half — 52% — of IT professionals say that buy-in at the top isn’t happening. They say that few outside of IT Departments understand the combined impact of the big five initiatives.

“Agencies can’t afford to wait, but without coordination and planning, network capacity will choke off any chance at delivering benefits,” said Anthony Robbins, vice president Public Sector, Brocade.