Business Focus provides at-a-glance statistics and commentary on spending priorities and trends across particular sectors. Here we look at central government.
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Among large central government departments, the per-desktop annual spending on IT of just over £6,000 is substantially less than the UK business average of nearly £8,500.
However, average spending in smaller government departments outstrips the average IT spend among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), reaching nearly £3,600 against a small-business industry average of £3,100 per desktop per year.
Given the relative consistency of IT spending across central government, that mismatch demonstrates the relative lack of investment in IT among smaller businesses. SMEs’ spending per head on IT is one-third that of larger organisations – a trend that was highlighted by last month’s DTI Security Breaches Survey, which showed that small businesses are under-investing in IT security.
In central government, the most striking aspect of spending on IT is how much goes on IT services. This area consumes about 60% of the per-desktop annual budget, largely driven by the government’s major outsourcing contracts.
The analysis is based on Computer Weekly’s database of more than 60,000 IT budget holders, twice yearly user IT expenditure surveys, CBI/Kew senior executive surveys, government surveys, government demographic data, HM Treasury economic forecasts and Cambridge Econometrics industry forecasts.
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