Government Budget Spending Opportunity for VARs

By Ericka Chickowski  |  Print this article Print

Belts may be tightening in government spending, but there's still opportunity for smart VARs who know where to look.

Even amid budget shortfalls and tightened bureaucratic belts, there remains quite a bit of opportunity for channel players catering to the government market according to the recently released CompTIA Second Annual Government IT Purchase Plans survey.

"Though budget challenges and the burden of bureaucracy can slow the pace of change, government technology spending will continue, particularly on solutions that help to ease the challenges of resources and security," said Amy Carrado, director, market research, CompTIA.

One of the biggest drivers for government IT spending is the need to become more efficient and reduce long-term costs, which was named by about 60 percent of respondents. Other big government IT spending influencers include compliance with government mandates or regulations, responding to the needs of citizens and staff, as well as the necessity of modernizing legacy systems, particularly those vulnerable to security threats.

"But with money to spend increasingly precious, agencies are likely to demand greater returns on their investments and require vendors to clearly prove the effectiveness of their solutions," Carrado said.

In addition to typical purchase priorities for upgrades to hardware such as PCs, servers, network infrastructure and the like, governments are also planning on upping their game with regard to employee training for both IT staff and end users. Approximately 44 percent of survey respondents said they plan to implement new employee training in the next six months for things like PC maintenance, help desk and tech support, security, networking and business continuity.

According to CompTIA, this need could present itself to partners as a way to help them differentiate themselves.

"Even under severe budget constraints, government agencies continue to recognize the importance of a well-trained workforce that understands how to effectively use technology," Carrado said.  "Technology providers should consider providing training sessions as a value-add when government organizations purchase a product, or offering mini-tutorials to employees at agencies where there is potential for purchases in the near future."