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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.”