14 October 2004 Government spending on delivering public services electronically is set to soar by 40% by 2008, with spending in the UK alone reaching $1.2 billion, according to analyst firm IDC.
Western European governments are currently engaged in wide-ranging programmes to cut the cost of delivering services to the public through the use of technology. And according to IDC, spending will continue to rise until at least 2008.
IDC predicts that in 2004 the UK will invest $828 million in e-government; by 2008 this will reach $1.2 billion.
The UK’s spending will be matched by that of France &Germany, both of which IDC estimates will be spending $1.3bn on e-government by 2008.
But spending across Europe will differ. Massimiliano Claps, a senior research analyst at IDC, said: “IT spending on e-government is expected to continue growing at an uneven rates in Europe’s top five countries.”
Governments in Italy and Spain have more modest plans. Italy will allocate $371 million to e-government in 2004, rising to $520 million in 2008, while Spain’s spending will increase by 50% between 2004 and 2008, rising to $300 million from $200 million.
According to Claps, the differences by country reflect the amount spent on IT as a whole. “The total UK IT spending is four times the Spanish, thus also the e-government spending,” he said.
“IT vendors that want to take advantage of these opportunities must closely monitor the new initiatives, understand the drivers of the various projects and take advantage of growth at the local government level,” he added.