It could be said that the new frontier in government tech is happening inside the public sector as much as it’s happening outside the public sector. The ingenuity, pushed in part by collaboration between young private-sector startups and government officials brave enough to experiment for the public good, has given rise to an emerging market of “civic tech.”
More than a mere trend, the sector, which provides citizen-facing services for government, has taken root, and a recent study estimates spending growth to total $6.4 billion in 2015 — a piece of the $25.5 billion to be spent by government on external IT in 2015. The report, produced by the research firm IDC Government Insights and sponsored by the civic tech vendor Accela, estimates that from 2013 to 2018, growth in the developing market will be 14 times faster than traditional IT spending in state and local governments.
The Knight Foundation, a philanthropy supporting civic technology, was credited as a driver in the space with its own philanthropy providing more than $25 million worth of investment since 2010, and for its own research that indicated the number of civic tech organizations grew 23 percent from 2008 to 2013 with total investment at more than $431 million.