Information technology is essential to the everyday operation of our federal, state, and local governments. Imagine how much manpower would be required to mail out social security checks without the power and speed of today’s computers. Imagine how much time, effort, and manpower would be needed to process annual income tax returns. And this is just a drop in the bucket compared to the other roles information technology plays in our government.
Information Technology in the Military
There is a very good reason the United States has the most powerful military force in the world, and that reason is we have the best technology. Information technology allows the military to communicate quickly and effectively anywhere in the world.
It also allows information to be analysed and disseminated quickly. Having cutting edge information technology also allows all branches of the military to design weapons and other tools of their trade in a more effective manner. IT also allows the military to keep close tabs on what their enemies are doing 24/7.
Information Technology on the State Government Levels
In California as an example, as it is one of the largest and most populous states, information technology is one of the most important parts of the state’s infrastructure. The state spends over 1 billion dollars annually on IT, and without it, many of the state’s services would not be feasible.
Some of the functions performed today by the state’s IT department include helping in the design of highway systems, regulation of traffic, and providing local, county, and state police officers with almost real time background checks and criminal history reports. IT also provides employment for thousands of people in the state.
The role of information technology in storing and retrieving all kinds of records cannot be understated. With the latest in storage techniques, records can be retrieved in a matter of seconds, edited, saved, and stored again almost instantly. Having up to date records with all of the correct information can save millions of dollars annually.
Information Technology on the Local Government Levels
IT is just as important on the local level as it is the federal and state levels. Information technology is used in capital planning, accounting, payroll, inventory management, and many more areas. Today, most towns and cities have their own web sites where information is available on city services, and where residents and visitors should go to get help with specific needs.
The role of IT in all governments cannot be discounted, as many of the services they offer simply would not be available without it. IT today is an integral part of the government, and its role will continue to expand over time. Information technology is what drives the daily operations on all levels of government, and if something happened to the IT infrastructure, those governments would come to a fast and grinding halt, unable to function on almost any level. That is one of the reasons IT security today is such a large and important business.