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Here's How State Governments Spend Their IT Budgets

A quick bite of the data from the 2018 Digital States project.

When it comes to technology, state governments invest the most in people.

That’s the finding of a survey the Center for Digital Government* conducted recently, combining responses from 48 state governments. The Digital States Survey asked all participants to estimate what percentage of their IT budgets went into seven categories, and the No. 1 expenditure area was internal IT staff — states reported that fully one-third of their IT budgets are spent there.

IT services represented the next biggest slice, with about one-quarter of state IT budgets going toward solutions, cloud and infrastructure services. Hardware and software together accounted for 22 percent of spending.

The results represent a unique look into state IT spending because they’re standardized. If one were to gather up every state’s IT budget, they would find a morass of different terminology and organizational structures that make apples-to-apples comparisons difficult. In fact, because IT costs are often shared across departments, it can be difficult to nail down a precise number for how much any given state spends on technology in any given year.

Here, CDG has average results as estimated by state IT officials all using the same broad categories.

Overall, CDG puts state IT spending at about $51 billion per year.

For more survey data from the Digital States project, click here. To see how the states fared, click here.

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

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.