April 2, 2009 By Wayne Hanson
The Texas state budget currently under consideration, would restrict state agencies from using Microsoft Vista. The budget rider, sponsored by Sen. Juan Hinojosa, would require any state agency that wants Vista to get approval from the State Budget Board. In a video interview with the Austin American-Statesman, Hinojosa said that he thinks Microsoft is a great company, and while he personally has no experience with Vista, he has read about problems with the operating system, and seeks to protect taxpayer funds.
The City of Minneapolis and Unisys Corp. have been honored for their information technology outsourcing relationship. The Outsourcing Center recognized Minneapolis and Unisys with the "Best Partnership Award" -- in its annual Outsourcing Excellence Awards. In 2003, Minneapolis moved to outsource its primary IT infrastructure to Unisys as a way to streamline its organization and save resources. Since that time, the city has recognized an increase in services while saving in excess of $18 million, according to a release from Unisys. The city and Unisys renewed their contract in 2007 to add services, reduce costs and to strengthen the partnership through improved governance. Unisys now provides Minneapolis with a complete IT outsourcing portfolio of services including: program management, service desk, end user services, network management, enterprise (data center) services, disaster recovery, management of 911 infrastructures, and management of the security camera network.
NCSL: The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) launched an electronic discussion board for the economic stimulus. The service is available only to legislators and legislative staff, according to a post on the NCSL site.
South Dakota: South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds announced today that South Dakota has activated its American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Web site, called Recovery SD.
The decline of the global economy is impacting the IT industry with worldwide IT spending forecast to total $3.2 trillion in 2009, a 3.8 per cent decline from 2008 revenue of nearly $3.4 trillion, according to Gartner Inc. "IT organizations worldwide are being asked to trim budgets, and consumers are cutting back on discretionary spending," said Richard Gordon, research vice president, and head of global forecasting at Gartner. "The speed and severity of the response by businesses and consumers alike to these economic circumstances will result in an IT market slowdown in 2009 that will be worse than the 2.1 per cent decline in IT spending in 2001 when the Internet investment bubble burst." The forecasts for all four of the key market sectors of hardware, software, IT services and telecommunications have been revised downward, with only software spending growth remaining positive.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.