Mar. 8, 2016 2:54 pm

Cities are spending money on IT — is it worth it?

According to the IBIT report, on average, a $1 increase in the budget for chief information officers leads to a $4.05 per capita decrease in city expenses and capital depreciations.

The IBIT report tells us "what government leaders need to know about returns on IT investments."

(Image courtesy of IBIT)

Across the U.S., states are weighing the pros and cons of large-scale IT projects to benefit city processes.

To answer the question of whether IT is worth the cost, Temple University assistant professor Dr. Min-Seok Pang presented the IBIT Report, released last year from Fox School’s Institute for Business and Information Technology, at this month’s OpenAccessPHL meetup. The goal of the report is to help people understand the measurable benefits that IT can have amidst a ton of complex factors.

According to the IBIT Report, on average, a $1 increase in the budget for chief information officers (in our case, Deputy Secretary John MacMillan) leads to a $4.05 per capita decrease in city expenses and capital depreciations.

The IBIT report on state spending on IT CIOs.

(Image courtesy of IBIT)

  • The bigger the state population, the larger the return on IT spending. States like Maine and Utah can expect per capita savings of $4.08 per dollar spent, while states with populations greater than 10 million like Florida can expect as much as $5.70 in per capita savings.
  • If state law gives authority to the chief information officer, the savings are big. On the other hand, CIOs like New Jersey’s E. Steven Emanuel, whose position was not confirmed and recognized by the state senate, can actually expect experience a negative returns of as much as -$1.26.
  • IT needs its own budget. As you can see in the chart below, the less the IT office needs to rely on money from other state agencies for funding, the more the state can expect to save.
IBIT Report state spending on IT CIO 2

(Image courtesy of IBIT)

Read the full report

Other highlights from this month’s OpenAccessPHL meetup:

From our Partners

  • Dr. Nina Ahmad, newly appointed deputy mayor for public engagement in Philadelphia, wants to see more evaluation of programs. This is the kind of data-based thinking we like to see.
  • Sylvester Mobley, founder and executive director of Coded by Kids, stressed that the organization’s job is bigger than just teaching coding. “Coding is a small part of what we do,” he said. “We want to know what’s happening to kids in between our workshops. … We want to produce kids who will start the businesses of tomorrow.”
  • The host of this month’s meeting, Free Library President Siobhan A. Reardon, reminded us that the Free Library has its own beer, courtesy of Yards. Mmmmmm, beer.




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