Sluggish recovery in the wake of the recent economic recession will force government to go beyond traditional cost cutting measures to produce the sustainable savings that are required to survive, says ICT research firm Gartner.
"Government organisations in most of the Western world have already gone through one or two cost-cutting cycles during the past few years," says Andrea Di Maio, vice president and analyst at Gartner.
"However, the aftermath of the most recent global financial crisis, the sluggish recovery in some countries and the significant level of debt require continued and increasing cost-containment discipline and are forcing government organisations to explore new avenues of cost reduction," he continues.
Di Maio suggests that emerging technology in sourcing and procurement, e-government and government integration, and workforce management will assist governments around the world in achieving significant cost reduction.
Governments faced with major budget cuts should pilot public cloud services, he suggests. Despite a certain level of risk associated with the technology, Di Maio argues that government departments test the technology with non-mission critical applications.
Government CIOs should also consider the use of community source as an alternative to incumbent vendors.
“Open source has certainly gained its place in the portfolio of solutions that most government agencies utilise. While some might think that the role of open source as an alternative to commercial vendors is no longer an issue, it can still be useful in negotiating with vendors at the higher levels of the stack,” he explains.
Budget constraints often lead to reducing the use of external consultants, which leaves government unable to proceed on certain projects. Di Maio suggests crowd-sourcing as an alternative.
“Crowd-sourcing is a way to expose a problem to a wide community, and CIOs need to encourage government agency executives to identify problems that cannot be addressed through traditional contractual means due to budget constraints, and select some for crowd-sourcing.”
Lastly, Di Maio insists that governments aggressively implement teleworking. If furloughs, salary freezes or other cost-reduction measures that impact employee compensation are necessary, teleworking may work as an incentive to compensate the lower salary.