This week, the U.S Census Bureau released the Nation's annual state population estimates for the period between July 1, 2006 and July 1, 2007. This data suggests that we may see a shift in several states' number of seats in the House of Representatives. In addition, those states seeing the most significant growth will be those first feeling the pressure of increased demands for population sensitive services. Although the data is primarily used to anticipate an increase or decrease of state representation in congress and electoral votes, it also serves as a major technology market driver used to forecast state investments in "population-sensitive" government services. Consequently, higher state population growth in combination with the increased retirements of baby boomers will force state governments to leverage IT investments with the goal of reducing costs, improving efficiencies and ensuring service delivery.
The top ten fastest growing states are Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, Colorado, Wyoming and South Carolina, respectively. For the 19th year in a row Nevada remains the fastest growing state. Michigan and Rhode Island are the only two states to lose population and Ohio's remains flat. California continues to be the Nation's most populous state with 37 million residents despite Texas' lead in population increase with 500,000 new residents in comparison to California's 300,000 new residents.
State population growth will influence state IT spending, especially in areas that provide "population-sensitive" services. Some of these services include school records, tax collections, criminal records and Medicaid payments. States will find they need to either hire new workers, automate manual processes, or outsource non-essential IT infrastructure and business operations.
Georgia, the fifth fastest growing state, provides an example of population growth, services delivery and IT operations colliding towards change. The state recently partnered with a vendor to evaluate its IT infrastructure. The state's aging technology created serious risks to critical services provided to its fast growing population. Consequently, Georgia announced last month its decision to begin the process of updating and securing its IT functions by consolidating and outsourcing its IT services to public-sector vendors.
- Vendors should note that spending on "population-sensitive" government services with associated technology requirements that also compensate for aging technologies will continue to grow as population grows.
- Although, higher population growth and boomer retirements will drive increased use of outsourcing, consolidation, automation and staff augmentation, states remain willing to rely on new hires and heavier workloads in areas where vendors do not provide the best solution for the least cost. Nevertheless, in an effort to cut costs and increase efficiencies, GovWin anticipates high-growth states to partner with vendors to restructure their IT infrastructure