Katrina to drive spending on information-sharing

Federal government spending on information-sharing processes and systems is likely to grow by 35 percent over the next five years, and reach $1.3 billion by fiscal 2010, according to a report released today by Input Inc., a Reston, Va.-based marketing analysis firm.

Deficiencies in federal information-sharing became obvious in the response to Hurricane Katrina, the report said, and the lapses have inspired the White House and Congress to prod agencies to develop their information-sharing processes and systems.

"The mere possibility that improved information-sharing between and within federal, state and local agencies could have resulted in a more efficient disaster recovery after Hurricane Katrina, or potentially prevented Sept. 11, provokes an extremely unpleasant opportunity cost analysis," Chris Campbell, senior analyst for Input, said in a press release.

"As a result, the integration of fully developed knowledge management solutions will stand out even more as a necessity rather than a luxury," Campbell added.

Following the model of the Army Knowledge Online Management Program, other federal agencies are likely to move in the direction of coordinating information and making it available to support their missions. Part of that process will involve improving communications to and from employees.

Agencies will need help establishing a comprehensive process for managing data, including protocols for how data will be collected, stored and organized; how to control access certain types of information for certain employees; and ways to monitor the manner in which the data is used.

This will involve IT solutions at an enterprise level, the report said.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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