In the coming financial year, new IT spending will be harder to find, according to research firm, Ovum public sector research director, Kevin Noonan.
He said it is not surprising to find a tight budget situation for IT against a background of fiscal constraint.
Noonan claimed that the public sector staffing cuts, announced as part of the NSW budget, will hurt IT in terms of reduced IT staff numbers and reduced IT demand.
“With the government exempting teachers, nurses, police, and funding for new initiatives, the axe must fall disproportionately on back room staff and administrative work that tends to be more IT intensive,” he said.
However, he said that it is not all bad news.
With earlier budget announcements still having to run their course, significant funding will still flow towards IT in 2012-2013, he stated.
“There is also an Australia-wide trend to focus more on productivity and innovation as a source of savings rather than the blunt instrument of simply doing more with less. This creates a number of opportunities as agencies look to IT for new ideas and thought leadership,” he said.
Noonan said the coming year is pivotal as it marks the period to start delivering and ensuring proper spend of allocated money.
“In the past, NSW has had a patchy IT history, better known for project failures than successes. Over the last year the government has invested significant effort in engaging with industry, streamlining procurement policy, and setting short term targets,” he added.
Noonan also said there is more to be done in the coming years.
According to him, the current NSW spending announcements are more focused on corporate systems and underlying infrastructure.
“This approach lags some governments in our region where there is a growing focus on productivity driven services. It’s about rethinking government rather than just doing the same old stuff more cheaply,” he said.