Report: States, cities put increased focus on GIS, IT consulting contracts in 2015

A new report from Onvia suggests that state and local agencies are increasingly handing out deals to guide GIS and IT modernization efforts.

The number of IT consulting and geographic information systems contracts awarded by state, local and education agencies rose substantially last year, according to a new report.

Onvia — a business analysis firm focused on government procurement — released a new report showing that the number of GIS contracts stemming from those agencies increased by 24 percent in 2015 compared to 2014. In all, the number of bids and requests for proposals jumped from 693 to 859.

Similarly, researchers found there was a 16 percent increase in the number of IT consulting contracts issued last year. There were 4,055 IT consulting bids and RFPs in 2014, compared to 4,691 last year.

The firm observed that the increase in focus on GIS issues is especially notable, as that gain represents the second highest increase in contracts in any area of focus, trailing only projects focused on mental health issues.


Onvia’s analysts found that Florida “had by far the largest share of GIS services nationally,” as 22 percent of contracts on the subject originated from the state. California came in second with 8 percent of the contracts, while Michigan, Texas and Washington all tied at 4 percent.

[Read more: State, local contracts hint at three key trends in 2016]

The firm also discovered that city agencies “were the most common type of agency to seek GIS services with 51 percent of the opportunities,” while state agencies checked in at 21 percent of contracts. 

However, the contracts did vastly differ in size depending on which agency awarded them — the researchers found that the size of GIS contracts awarded by states averaged $6.9 million per deal versus $453,000 per contract stemming from cities, for an overall average of $2.3 million for each GIS contract.

Accordingly, Onvia’s researchers suggest that “vendors offering GIS technology solutions should consider how to efficiently target the large city government market segment.”


The firm stressed that IT consulting is another rapidly growing area. The analysts write that “in seeking to modernize the IT systems and services of government, agencies often require considerable help from experienced technology consultants” on issues like data center consolidation, cloud adoption and opening up government data. California agencies led the way with 12 percent of all contracts, while Texas followed at 7 percent, Washington at 6 percent, and New York and Florida each tied at 5 percent.

City agencies issued 21 percent of those contracts, but state agencies topped them with 37 percent of all consulting contracts, Onvia found. Once again, state deals were much larger than others — researchers found that the average value of each state contract was $6.7 million, while the average size of all IT consulting contracts was $2.7 million.

That data suggests that “technology vendors should consider competing for the largest segment of contracts with state agencies, which have much higher contract sizes,” the researchers write.

Contact the reporter at, and follow him on Twitter @AlexKomaSNG.

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