IT spending may be bouncing back in other sectors, but the recovery is lagging among city and county governments, according to Computer Economics. Local governments plan to increase IT operational spending this year by 1.5% at the median, according to the annual IT spending and staffing survey released by the Irvine, Calif.-based research firm on July 2. That contrasts with a median 2.2% rise in IT operational budgets across all sectors and is the lowest growth rate of any of the 11 sectors in the study. The planned increase may be optimistic. About one-third of the local government respondents in the benchmarking study did not expect to spend all of the money in their IT operational budgets.
“At the start of the recession, the public sector was slower to reduce IT spending,” said Frank Scavo, president of Computer Economics. “Now the reverse is true. IT spending by local government is slower to recover.” Much of the restraint is in IT staffing levels. At the median, local governments plan to maintain IT staff headcount at about the same level as the prior year. The benchmarking study also found that about 85% of local government’s IT spending is going toward maintaining existing systems. That leaves 15% for initiatives that add new capabilities to IT systems. “That is barely adequate for staying current on technology,” Scavo said. “In the private sector, a more typical spending level today on new initiatives is 30%.” The top IT priorities for local governments this year in order are becoming more cost-efficient, improving IT service levels, and upgrading infrastructure, the study also found.
(Contact: Frank Scavo, President, Computer Economics; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; 949/831-8700 x214; http://www.computereconomics.com).
The desire to share and access content on multiple devices will push consumers to store more than a third of their digital content in the cloud by 2016, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner said that just 7 percent of consumer content was stored in the cloud in 2011, but this will grow to 36 percent in 2016. The increased adoption of camera-equipped smartphones and tablets is allowing users to capture huge amounts of photos and videos. Gartner predicts that worldwide consumer digital storage needs will grow from 329 exabytes in 2011 to 4.1 zettabytes in 2016. This includes digital content stored in PCs, smartphones, tablets, hard-disk drives (HDDs), network attached storage (NAS) and cloud repositories. "Historically, consumers have generally stored content on their PCs, but as we enter the post-PC era, consumers are using multiple connected devices, the majority of which are equipped with cameras. This is leading to a massive increase in new user-generated content that requires storage," said Shalini Verma, principal research analyst at Gartner. "With the emergence of the personal cloud, this fast-growing consumer digital content will quickly get disaggregated from connected devices." The bulk of the cloud storage needs of consumers in the near term will be met by social media sites such as Facebook, which offer free storage space for uploading photos and videos for social sharing. Ms. Verma said that while online backup services are the most well-known cloud storage providers, their total storage allocated to consumers and "prosumers" is small relative to that maintained by social media sites.
(Contacts: Christy Pettey, Gartner, 408/468-8312 , email@example.com; Laurence Goasduff, Gartner 44 1784 267 195, firstname.lastname@example.org).
As the debt crisis continues, IT spending growth across Europe looks bleak for 2012 and 2013, according to a new information and communications technology (ICT) forecast from Forrester. According to the report, Europe will see 1.2% growth in euros in European ICT purchases in 2012, shrinking the continent's share of the market and making it distinctly smaller than that of the Americas and Asia Pacific. When measured in US dollars, the European ICT market will shrink by almost 6%, while the US and Asia Pacific will both grow by more than 6%. With European countries south or west of Germany in or near recessions and even Germany, the Nordics, Switzerland, Austria, and Central Europe barely growing ― and risks of worse ― CIOs will hunker down and cut or constrain their purchases of tech goods and services in 2012. In Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain, deep recessions will cause steep cuts in tech buying. In France, the Benelux countries, and the UK, near or mild recessions will lead CIOs to hold spending flat. In Germany, the Nordics, Switzerland, Austria, and Central Europe, weak but positive economic growth allows some room for cautious spending.
(Contact: Belinda Simmelink, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, Europe, Forrester Research, 31(0)20.305.4371, email@example.com).
The popularity and massive growth of smartphones for business use is forcing enterprises to sit up and rethink their security and defense mechanisms, according to IDC. The increasing prevalence of mobile devices within the business environment -- coupled with increasing popularity of mobile banking, payments and wealth management schemes -- further imply that these instruments will become a more prominent vector of attack for cybercriminals seeking to harvest corporate and financial data. For instance, malware could incorporate fake mobile banking applications in legitimate application stores to steal personal banking information. Preventive measures to stem enterprise mobile security threats include MDM such as robust security tools to remotely secure, monitor, encrypt and manage data, and MAM to secure and control corporate data and applications on an app-by-app basis.
(Contact: IDC, Li-May Chew, CFA, firstname.lastname@example.org, +65-6829-7753 ; Lay Fang Tan, email@example.com, +65-6829-7731).
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