ACROSS THE DIGITAL NATION

3 Firms Lead in E-Gov Market

Rishi Sood

The information technology needs of state and local government agencies have changed rapidly, having a direct impact on the vendor community. Major systems integrators and professional services firms have established new competencies to coincide with the dramatic ascent of e-government initiatives.

Similarly, the e-government vendor landscape has changed dramatically over the past 18 months. The market has seen the death of companies such as govWorks Inc., which had positioned itself as a disintermediary between citizens and government. It has also seen a repositioning of dot-coms, such as EzGov Inc., which has recreated itself as an e-government software solutions provider.

Most importantly, the market has seen some of the top systems integrators and professional services companies re-emerge to serve as advisers with public-sector agencies to shape e-government initiatives.

To assess who has emerged as the major e-government vendors, Gartner Dataquest developed a model that measures a vendor's position along two major lines. The first is a company's presence in the state and local government marketplace. This includes its state and local revenue, expertise, experience, market positioning and reference accounts. The second measures a company's e-government experience, evaluating its vision, skill set, portfolio of solutions, reference accounts and alliances with other companies.

This evaluation, called the 2001 E-Government Competitive Matrix, shows top vendors' expertise in the state and local marketplace and their e-government vision.

The matrix highlights four vendor groups. Those with high rankings in market presence and e-government vision are Accenture Ltd., Deloitte Consulting and IBM Corp. All have shown strength in developing an e-government strategy that has been well-received in top state and local government accounts.

These vendors have built on a solid foundation of domain expertise across public-sector agencies and established successful e-government implementations. However, they must continue to grow and evolve according to the shifting market if they are to become true e-government leaders.

A second group of vendors ? American Management Systems Inc., KPMG Consulting Inc. and National Information Consortium Inc. ? has various degrees of progress in this market. Each firm has shown success among key state and local government agencies, but has also been hampered by a different set of constraints.

For example, AMS' high-profile lawsuit by the state of Mississippi has impacted its market positioning and branding. NIC was ranked quite highly for its portal implementations with midtier states and growing UCC portfolio, but needs to build more significant relationships with large-tier states. NIC's recent contract with California is a step in the right direction.

A third group of vendors ? Affiliated Computer Services Inc., Science Applications International Corp. and Unisys Corp. ? has made smaller steps toward e-government implementation. These vendors need more time to evaluate their strategy and to develop a more cohesive approach to e-government implementation.

Finally, a fourth group of vendors ? Computer Sciences Corp., Electronic Data Systems Corp. and PricewaterhouseCoopers ? has not made significant progress with respect to their e-government strategy and has largely focused on traditional technology opportunities.

Gartner Dataquest expects vendor positioning on this matrix to shift considerably over the next three years, as company strategies and market acceptance continue to evolve. Vendors must continue to educate public-sector organizations and work with business and political officials to prioritize online initiatives.

Given the state of the economy and the events of Sept. 11, e-government will certainly evolve to meet the requirements of this new environment. Vendors understand how new initiatives around security, disaster recovery, mobile and wireless as well as the new priorities for public safety, health and emergency services may compliment online initiatives.

Rishi Sood is a principal analyst with Gartner Dataquest in Mountain View, Calif. For more information about the 2001 E-Government Competitive Matrix, you may e-mail him at rishi.sood@gartner.com.

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