Government IT budgets expected to decline as interest in technology spikes

Chief information officers find themselves more relevant than ever, yet more than half in a recent survey said they expect their budgets to get cut this year. Meanwhile, Toronto's smart neighborhood project loses its developer.

As the pandemic continued last week, so did its effects on state and local government agencies’ technology initiatives. Perhaps most notably, Sidewalk Labs pulled out of its smart neighborhood project in Toronto, StateScoop’s Jake Williams pointed out in Scoop News Group’s weekly video wrap-up on Friday.

The pandemic has also apparently boosted the public’s interest in government operations as attendance in local public meetings rises.

Libraries in Arizona are outfitting their parking lots with Wi-Fi to assist those learning or working from home.

And local chief information officers are bracing for budget cuts, according to a new survey from the Computing Technology Industry Association’s Public Technology Institute, which found that about half of those asked said they believe their funding will drop this year.

The widespread move to remote work is thought by many likely to continue in government after the pandemic has ended, but states are otherwise warming up to new technologies, CIOs say, as agencies ordinarily hesitant to try new things have been forced to avail themselves of whatever tools are offered to them on short notice.

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Chief Information Officer (CIO), pandemic, Sidewalk Labs, Toronto, Wi-Fi