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Budgets are the biggest barrier to public sector technology adoption

The biggest barrier to adopting new technologies for the public sector is restricted budgets. That’s according to 83% of IT departments polled in a new survey out today from Park Place Technologies.

Park Place Technologies carried out the research in partnership with iGov Survey to understand the biggest challenges and pain points IT departments face in terms of their hardware and when they are looking to review or renew technology solutions.

Survey respondents represented a broadcross-section of roles across 219 public sector organisations. The research found that, following restricted budgets, the main challenges are cultural resistance (53%), technology skills gap across the sector (52%) and compliance and security concerns (41%).

“Public sector organisations are clearly feeling the pinch,” said Darren Ellis, Director of Public Sector Sales, Park Place Technologies.

“For too long now budgets in the public sector have been cut, stretched and redirected. IT teams have done well to keep the plates spinning but we’re very quickly coming to a junction whereby any more budget restrictions could have a considerable impact on service delivery, performance and security.”

Access to finance is also having an impact when it comes to the existing IT with over eight in 10 (81%) claiming budget restraints is the number one issue here too. This is followed by both legacy technology (55%) and a lack of in-house skills and experience regarding new technologies (55%). In terms of current technology challenges, external security threats (48%) and new compliance and data protection legislation (42%) also ranked highly.

More than half (55%) struggle with the issue of legacy technology and a lack of in-house skills or experience in new technologies, while a further 52% believe there is a skills gap that will impact the sector’s ability to adopt new technologies. In fact, the research found that, of the businesses that have a designated plan in place to address these challenges, upskilling new employees (77%) is a top priority. This is supported by a further 44% of organisations that are actively recruiting new skills to address the challenges.

Ellis continued,

“The lack of access to skills is a major concern. The right talent can not only improve services and the here and now, but it can cut costs and future-proof organisations in the long-term, which is critical given the pace of technological change.”

The report also found less than a quarter of participants (22%) are ‘very confident’ that their infrastructure is prepared to enable their organisation to adopt new technologies in the future. Just over one in 10 (11%) are ‘not confident at all’. Thought, perhaps encouragingly, nearly half of all participants (47%) reported that they are planning to review their hardware requirements within the coming year, with a further 23% stating this will happen in the next twelve months.

Looking ahead, cloud was the leading technology (83%) when it comes to future organisational transformation, while automation is also a significant area of development for many (71%). Increasingly sophisticated malware (80%) and human error (66%) were cited as the greatest risks to the sector when it comes to IT and operational security.

For more information on the research, or on Park Place Technologies, please visit,