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Strong Reserves, Historic Funding for State and Local IT in 2023

The Center for Digital Government’s Beyond the Beltway event returned in person to the Washington, D.C., area, where industry members gathered for a forecast on 2023 state and local government technology spending.

e.Republic Deputy Chief Innovation Officer Joe Morris gesturing while speaking.
e.Republic Deputy Chief Innovation Officer Joe Morris
(Government Technology/David Kidd)
Washington, D.C. — A rapt crowd of several hundred assembled just outside of Washington, D.C., this week for Beyond the Beltway. It’s the first time the event was held in person since 2020, when it took place just before pandemic lockdowns derailed large gatherings across the country.

A signature element of the event is the forecast on state and local government technology spending in the coming year, presented by e.Republic’s* Deputy Chief Innovation Officer Joe Morris.

Investments in technology will be significant, Morris reported, pointing to several key indicators, including strong budgets and appetites for technology-powered transformation, as well as long lists of projects still on government to-do lists. And though we’re not likely to see any new massive federal spending programs announced, funding from packages like the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is still rolling out.

“We’re seeing some stability here,” Morris said. “Every single vertical that we look at, we’re seeing investment in technology, we’re seeing budget strength, we’re seeing the impacts of those federal funds,” adding that 2023 will closely resemble 2022 in terms of government IT investment.

As far as raw dollars, Morris and the Center for Digital Government* predict a 3 to 5 percent increase in gov tech spending this year, amounting to roughly $134.4 billion.

And the good news doesn’t end there for the vendor community looking to partner with government. The sheer number of IT-related opportunities has been on a steady climb since 2020. In 2022, 44,560 chances to do business with government were posted, according to Government Technology’s Industry Navigator.* The RFP process is getting speedier too. RFPs are now open for an average of 23.7 days, compared with 29 days in 2020.

The table below breaks down projected spending in 2023 by vertical area.

VerticalProjected 2023 Spending
Health & Human Services$36.8 billion
Education$36 billion
Transportation$16.1 billion
Finance & Administration$13.4 billion
Justice & Public Safety$11.9 billion
Utilities$11.2 billion
Environment & Housing$9 billion

Reviewing CIO priorities from the Center for Digital Government’s most recent Digital States, Digital Counties and Digital Cities surveys, Morris noted that investment on this scale often requires governments to look to managed services to fill skills gaps. “... they may have the funding, but they don’t have the people.”

CIOs on hand agreed, though some noted that they’re not feeling the workforce squeeze just yet.

“We haven’t had a lot of turnover … but it’s coming,” said Tennessee CIO Stephanie Dedmon. “We will be more and more relying on our vendor partners.”

*e.Republic is the parent company of Government Technology, the Center for Digital Government and Industry Navigator.
Noelle Knell is the executive editor for e.Republic, responsible for setting the overall direction for e.Republic’s editorial platforms, including Government Technology, Governing, Industry Insider, Emergency Management and the Center for Digital Education. She has been with e.Republic since 2011, and has decades of writing, editing and leadership experience. A California native, Noelle has worked in both state and local government, and is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with majors in political science and American history.