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Why Government Leaders Invest in New IT Infrastructure

Across the globe, savvy government leaders within developed nations are investing in much-needed infrastructure for the 21st Century. In many cases, that will include a variety of new technologies that will be required to effectively participate in the Global Networked Economy.

As an example, according to "The American Jobs Plan" fact sheet: Generations ago, the federal government recognized that without affordable access to electricity, Americans couldn’t fully participate in modern society and the modern economy.

"With the 1936 Rural Electrification Act, the federal government made a historic investment in bringing electricity to nearly every home and farm in America, and millions of families and our economy reaped the benefits."

Broadband internet is the new electricity. It is necessary for Americans to do their jobs, to participate equally in school learning, health care, and to stay connected.

Meanwhile, worldwide government Information Technology (IT) infrastructure investment is forecast to total $483 billion in 2021 -- that's an increase of 5.1 percent from 2020, according to the latest market study by Gartner.

Government IT Market Development

"Government organizations continue to be challenged with the appropriate level of interventions to respond and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic," said Irma Fabular, senior research director at Gartner.

According to the Gartner assessment, public health and safety measures, including vaccinating citizens are of paramount concern, which necessitates that governments continue to accelerate their Digital Transformation journey.

Three segments are on pace to exceed the overall Government IT market growth in 2021. The software segment, which includes application, infrastructure, and vertical-specific software, will experience the strongest growth in 2021.

"Governments are innovating at a quicker pace by adopting commercially available technology solutions for operational and mission-critical needs," said Ms. Fabular. "We are seeing innovative use of technology and data to control and respond to the pandemic, as well as provide financial and humanitarian assistance."

As government organizations continue to embrace 'remote work' and hyper-connected public services, spending on devices is expected to grow 5.6 percent in 2021 -- that's up from 1.6 percent growth in 2020.

"The COVID-19 pandemic exposed weaknesses in the ability of government organizations to quickly respond, scale and secure essential services," said Ms. Fabular. "Lessons learned from the responses by government organizations provide the impetus to increase resiliency and build for a stronger future for its citizens and businesses."

Outlook for Government IT Investment Growth

In 2021, government budgets will continue to address the recovery and growth needs of communities and businesses. In addition, investments to address digital equity and access to remote government services will be prioritized.

As I look at the current trends, I anticipate that telecom service providers will become inspired to collaborate with government agencies that seek new ways to bring more affordable internet access to all homes and businesses in their communities.

Of course, there are still uninformed groups of legacy politicians that continue to oppose any and all changes that are beyond their own understanding of today's key economic development drivers.

That said, commercial leaders within the technology sector should support progressive measures that will result in meaningful and substantive progress. It's time to move beyond partisan rhetoric and embrace collective future upside opportunities that are enabled by ongoing digital transformation.

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