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Here Are the Top 5 IT Partners for Local Governments

Using the Center for Digital Government's surveys of cities and counties across the U.S., we've identified the tech companies most commonly named as a top partner for public-sector IT organizations.

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When it comes to tech partners, it would appear that Microsoft is the top choice for local government.

That’s the impression created by an analysis of last year’s Digital Cities and Digital Counties surveys run by the Center for Digital Government* (CDG). The surveys, which included participation from large and small county and city IT departments across the country, asked respondents to list their top five IT partners for the year in no particular order.

CDG then took those responses and aggregated them, ranking them by the number of times they were mentioned.

Here are the top five IT companies for cities:

1. Microsoft
2. Dell
3. Esri (tie)
3. Oracle (tie)
5. Motorola Solutions

And here are the top five IT companies for counties:

1. Microsoft
2. Tyler Technologies
3. Cisco (tie)
3. Dell (tie)
5. Esri

The results were fairly similar, though Tyler Technologies and Cisco stand out — the companies both narrowly missed securing a slot for cities, but their placement speaks of their particular success serving counties. Tyler is also the only “pure” gov tech company on the list; the rest are computing, network and software giants that serve many industries.

It should be noted that just because a company doesn’t appear on this list doesn’t mean that no survey respondents mentioned them; only that they weren't mentioned as much as the companies that are on the final lists. Across both surveys, respondents named more than 300 partners as their favorites, ranging from Amazon Web Services to Zencity.

Here’s a sampling of the type of work each company did with the survey respondents.


The computing titan, always relevant in the world of technology, took on a new importance during the COVID-19 pandemic by offering basic functionality necessary to support remote work. Office 365, the cloud version of its popular software such as Word and Excel, as well as the collaboration platform SharePoint and the messaging app Teams, were all mentioned many times by cities and counties pointing to Microsoft as one of their favorite partners to work with. But its work extended beyond that to include email, cybersecurity augmentation and even a collaboration with another tech vendor to deploy an AI chatbot to field questions from the public.


Over the years, Tyler Technologies has completed many, many acquisitions that have grown its product portfolio to include a wide range of services — and nowhere was this more apparent than in the projects cities and counties described when naming Tyler as a top IT partner. The most common solution named in the surveys was enterprise resource planning software, but local governments also talked about working with Tyler on e-citations for police, computer-aided mass appraisal, land management, permitting and licensing, human capital management and open budgeting through Tyler’s subsidiary Socrata.


When COVID-19 hit, many governments found themselves confronting a hardware problem: Here were mandates for employees to work from home, and many of them were still using desktop computers at the office. To make matters worse, a global shortage of semiconductors made it harder to buy new computers. Amid the scramble to provide new laptops to set up employees with the ability to work remotely, many found Dell to be a valuable partner, and cities and counties across the country pointed to the company as a part of their success. Aside from that, local governments also took advantage of Dell’s cybersecurity services, hyperconverged infrastructure and hybrid cloud offerings.


Though Cisco has long been a presence in gov tech, its work also took on a new hue during the pandemic as organizations across the public and private sectors found themselves needing network upgrades in order to accommodate remote workers. That meant setting up virtual private network technology, increasing bandwidth, deploying video conferencing tools and upgrading to modern firewalls — along with more traditional work such as replacing routers and switches and voice over IP.


Perhaps the biggest name in GIS, Esri has long been a presence in government IT shops. Cities and counties across the country worked with the company in 2021 to support GIS work ranging from parcel information to business COVID-19 policy compliance to 311 dashboards.


Oracle is a huge company offering many different products and services, and its work with cities and counties highlighted in the survey was diverse. Several mentioned ERP projects, but Oracle was also responsible for database upgrades, human capital management, cloud migrations and more. Multiple respondents mentioned 311 projects with Oracle, and one city highlighted how the company helped it set up access to PeopleSoft on mobile devices so employees could clock in and out more easily — a feature that has become much more common during the pandemic.


Motorola Solutions is an enormous presence in the public safety technology market, and counties and cities across the country took the survey projects as an opportunity to highlight their work with the company deploying new radio and communications systems, as well as computer-aided dispatch and records management systems.

*The Center for Digital Government is a part of e.Republic, which is Government Technology’s parent company.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to clarify that the cities and counties were listing their partners in any order, not ranking them. The rankings have been updated accordingly, which meant adding Motorola Solutions to the list.
Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.