The analyst firm Gartner is forecasting that worldwide government IT spending will increase by 5.1% in 2021 reaching a total of $483 billion in 2021. The category that will see the highest spending is IT Services, reaching $169 billion worldwide but the category seeing the most growth will be Software which will grow by 9.2% to $118 billion globally.
Explaining how the COVID-19 pandemic is causing governments to increase their IT spending, Irma Fabular, senior research director at Gartner, said:
“Government organizations continue to be challenged with the appropriate level of interventions to respond and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Public health and safety measures, including vaccinating citizens are of paramount concern, which necessitate governments to continue to accelerate their digital transformation journey.
Governments are innovating at a quicker pace by adopting commercially available technology solutions for operational and mission critical needs. We are seeing innovative use of technology and data to control and respond to the pandemic, as well as provide financial and humanitarian assistance.”
Gartner broke down governmental IT spending down into several categories; these included IT Services, Software, Telecom Services, Internal Services, Devices, and Data Center spending. As more people have been forced to work from home due to the virus, governments have begun to spend more money on devices (+5.6%) and less on internal services (-2.4%). Telecom Services spend declined in 2020 but this year it’s going to see a growth of 5.1%, probably to help workers get connected at home if they aren’t already.
Spending by governments, according to Gartner, will help economies begin their recoveries from the pandemic and try to return to economic growth. It said that the spending will also address issues of digital equity and access to remote government services as a priority so everyone has access regardless of technical competence or demographic.