Thirty five billion dollars is a lot of money. Whether spent on people, services, or security does not matter–at the end of the day it is a huge loss. Or has it been put to good use?
According to a recent Weekly Standard blog post, the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers’ (IAITAM’s) latest report, “Understanding the Federal Government’s ‘IT Insecurity’ Crisis” revealed the following:
“Half or more of the $70-$80 billion the U.S. government spends each year on Information Technology (IT) and IT Security is wasted,” IAITAM claims.
Dr. Barbara Rembiesa, the report’s author, found that the government spends more than $36,000 per employee on IT — “an astonishing six times more per employee on IT than does private industry.”
And at some departments, the levels of IT spending per employee reaches extreme levels, as much as 30 times higher than what private companies average: “$168,000 per U.S. Department of Education employee and more than $109,000 per U.S. State Department employee,” reads the report. Furthermore, “if this level of federal spending on IT was to be reduced to just three times the average for private industry, the savings would add up to well over $30 billion, of which only a tiny fraction would be needed to put in place needed ITAM controls on overall federal IT and IT Security,” the report says.
In a press release promoting the report, Rembiesa writes, “Right now, we have the high-tech equivalent of the $436 Pentagon hammer and it’s just getting worse” and that “simply throwing more dollars at Information Technology (IT) and IT security is not a solution for anything other than mind-boggling waste of public funds.”
The report also hints that the root cause of the federal government’s excess in IT spending and related woes is a lack of meaningful IT Asset Management. ITAM is the bridge that links an organization’s financial, contractual, and physical IT inventory requirements with the goals and objectives of the operational IT environment. Run by Rembiesa, the Ohio-based trade association administers internationally accepted certifications for information technology professionals. Naturally, the group thinks that applying its certifications and best practices would be a better solution, with Rembiesa adding:
“Federal IT chiefs often cite inadequate funding as the biggest inhibitor to progress, but a thorough investigation of the overall federal government IT sector reveals that cost savings and IT security would be increased by a comprehensive ITAM program at the national government level in the U.S.”
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