Local authorities are planning to invest heavily in Information and Communication Technology as part of their programmes to modernise services. According to Socitm's IT Trends survey 2003/4, spending on ICT is forecast to rise by 25% to almost £2.5 billion this year. This is in complete contrast with other non-government sectors where spending is at best flat.
Senior managers, elected members and staff are optimistic about the potential of IT to deliver better services to citizens.
Investment in equipment, software and services is expected to double.
More IT staff will be recruited to help deliver the benefits.
Service improvements in some areas could be as much as 100% with an average of 20% across all services.
IT managers are increasingly playing a wider strategic role in the management of councils.
The IT Trends report provides an in depth review of the current plans together with a detailed analysis of the challenges councils face. It charts the progress made towards e-enabling services and identifies the areas of weakness. The research based on responses from 230 councils identifies the software, hardware and services that UK local authorities are intending to deploy in order to transform the provision of services.
IT Trends is Socitm's annual survey of Heads of ICT and other senior managers in local authorities who control or influence ICT spending. Now in its 17th year, the survey provides comprehensive and reliable data on ICT expenditure, management & staffing, user training, technology and its application, as well as the highly topical issue of progress towards the government's 2005 targets for e-government implementation.
Socitm is the professional association representing managers with responsibility for ICT strategy and management within local authorities and other public services. Its vision is the transformation of public services through the effective application of ICT. With over 1600 members from 450 different organisations including 95% of all UK local authorities, Socitm provides a widely respected forum for the promotion, use and development of ICT best practice. It also plays a leading role in the implementation of local e-government in the UK.