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IDC Government Insights Releases Government Mobility Forecast

Today, IDC Government Insights announced a new report, Business Strategy: Government Mobility Forecast, 2014–2017 — A Rising Tide of Devices and Services (Doc #GI246592), which provides forecasts for government spending on the hardware and software related to mobile computing devices, the connection services associated with those devices (such as cell phone connectivity or other mobile connection solutions), and the software and applications that run on those devices. The new report also examines the current drivers of mobility spending across various levels of the U.S. government, and the major initiatives that are helping define mobility preferences and how that influences where the money is targeted.

"The mobile market in government is quite healthy," said Shawn McCarthy, Research Director at IDC Government Insights. "Smartphones and services lead this sector, but the demand for tablet computers is ramping up, and we expect double-digit growth in tablet spending to reach the local levels of government in a big way by 2017."

Growth of wireless devices, services, and applications is reaching a critical mass in government. According to IDC Government Insights, 2013 to 2015 should be the highest growth years overall for this market segment. Tablet computers will see double-digit growth through 2016, as will wireless data services, while pure airless voice traffic is expected to slow. This growth is driven by both employee and citizen demand. While government offices are helping to accelerate the mobile migration (via things like the federal government's "Digital Government Strategy" document, which sets specific goals and timetables), the end users are truly stoking the expansion.

Key highlights from the report include:

  • Smartphones, tablets, and eReaders make up just 5% of the government IT market. This gives them substantial growth potential. Tablets in particular will grow at double-digit rates for the next three years.
  • Government smartphone growth is expected to peak in 2016, and will see slight negative growth beyond that.
  • To expand their role in the mobile marketplace, many vendors are looking to provide expertise, consultation, and best practices to help government agencies understand the best way to deploy mobile solutions, including the operation of app stores and access control.
  • From a services/connectivity standpoint, the wireless voice market will decline by a -6.9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). However, wireless data services should grow by a CAGR of 10.2% during this same time period.
  • Software companies who focus on the mobile market need to be willing to offer hosted versions of their applications. Government agencies seek a range of ownership/subscription choices.
  • In general, tablet and services/connectivity is expected to grow at the local government level over the next few years, due to local demand for inspections, licensing, case management, and more.

"Over the past few years, mobile hardware and associated mobile solutions have been some of the fastest growing areas within government computing. However, mobile growth is starting to level out," continued McCarthy. "The one bright spot by 2017 will be state governments, where we expect to see growth of near 8% for eReaders in 2017, thanks to revived tax bases, planned equipment replacement cycles, and more workers who conduct their job functions out of the office."

The goal of this new forecast report is to build a full five-year forecast for this sub-segment. The report offers actions to consider for both government agencies and the vendors serving this market.

For additional information about this report or to arrange a one-on-one briefing with Shawn McCarthy, please contact Sarah Murray at 781-378-2674 or sarah@attunecommunications.com. Reports are available to qualified members of the media. For information on purchasing reports, contact insights@idc.com; reporters should email sarah@attunecommunications.com.

About IDC Government Insights

IDC Government Insights assists government policy, program, and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers who serve them, in making more effective technology decisions by providing accurate, timely, and insightful fact-based research and consulting services. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of government and IT industry experience, our global research analyzes and advises on business and technology issues facing the Federal/Central and local/provincial Governments. International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology market. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology, media, research, and events company. For more information, please visit www.idc-gi.com, email info@idc-gi.com, or call 703-485-8300. Visit the IDC Government Insights Community at http://idc-community.com/government.

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