Despite a challenging fiscal environment, confidence is growing among IT decision-makers in the government sector.

Local government organizations anticipate greater IT investment in hardware and software heading into 2011, with 84 percent of local government IT decision-makers planning to replace or install hardware during the next six months, and 85 percent doing so for software, according to The CDW IT Monitor, which has been tracking IT sentiment since the beginning of the recession in 2007. CDW is a provider of technology solutions for business, government, education and health care.

“Many state and local government IT decision-makers appear to be prepared to spend money in order to save money in the long run,” said Thomas E. Richards, president and chief operating officer of CDW, in a press release. “Newer technologies can help government agencies accomplish more even with reduced staff and reduce costs in key areas such as energy consumption.”

The IT Growth Monitor, which measures IT investment expectations, increased six points in the government sector to 69, the highest level since August 2008.

At the state level, 15 percent of IT professionals plan to hire new staff in the next six months. Confidence in IT growth at the federal government level is also on the rise, with 24 percent of IT decision-makers planning to hire additional IT staff in the same time frame.