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Perspective: Government-Funded Agencies in Ontario — The Overlooked and Underserved Opportunity

In This Perspective
Transfer Payments and the IT Opportunity
Background
The IT Opportunity
The IT Challenge
Essential Guidance
Recommendations for Agencies
Recommendations for Government
Recommendations for Vendors
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Perspective: Government-Funded Agencies in Ontario — The Overlooked and Underserved Opportunity

This IDC Government Insights Perspective examines a sizable and frequently overlooked information technology (IT) market found within small community-based agencies across Canada. Funded mostly by provincial governments, each agency is independent from the decision making of the funders when it comes to IT expenses. Because of their typically small size, these agencies do not have dedicated IT staff and have limited IT capability. The risks of IT are not well understood because of the skill gap within the agency and because the volunteer boards that govern them do not have the depth of knowledge to ask the appropriate questions or provide suitable resolution and mitigation. Ultimately, these agencies would benefit greatly working with provincial IT departments and vendors to develop better IT planning, architecture, and standards.For vendors, IT is a market that is largely underserved. Opportunities exist to provide the thought leadership and direction to assist these agencies to move forward with the transformations that will require advanced IT to succeed.For the ministries providing funding and oversight to these agencies, there is an opportunity to provide additional guidance and direction without compromising the independent governance that these agencies currently have. Most importantly is the need to review the funding models for many agencies that are struggling with high operational costs and unfunded administrative expenditures, which combined have created a significant roadblock in their ability to provide quality citizen services.


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