Survey: Public Sector Largely Unaware of Stimulus Fund Availability
Dell has released the results of a recent survey of public sector IT professionals, and it shows a large percentage are not aware of the ARRA stimulus package benefits available to them for technology improvements. The survey cited the likelihood of continuing challenges among IT workers in public healthcare and education.
The Dell survey polled 662 public sector IT workers with specific questions pertaining to information available on ARRA funds for the public sector and their respective subsectors (government, education, etc.), as well as how certain programs might aid in achieving their organization-specific technology goals. The answers and resulting data indicated that, in educational organizations, the needs and challenges that could be addressed by ARRA funding are substantial, and the views unsurprising uniform:
- 45 percent of K-12 education IT professionals indicated resources are the biggest challenge to modernization;
- 42 percent indicated budgets were the biggest challenge;
- Higher education IT professionals similarly rank resources as the largest impediment to modernizing America's educational institutions.
However, the survey also demonstrated a clear disconnect across the board, including in the education sector, between these needs and challenges and the ability to meet them with available funds:
- 79 percent of those surveyed are only somewhat aware or completely unaware of the impact of ARRA funds on their organizations;
- 78 percent have found information to be unclear, too generic to be applied to their respective organizations, or altogether unavailable.
Dell has announced plans to try and address many of these problems. Its proposed efforts include an Economic Recovery Web site featuring detailed advice and instructions on which funds are available for which organization types, program types, and specific goals and providing detailed advice and instructions on how to apply for each type of funding.
Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.