Mobile and cloud computing are among the top projects planned by governments worldwide, with bring your own device and big data also mentioned as areas of interest.

However, there isn’t much extra IT budget around to get these projects off the ground: worldwide IT spending by government organisations is projected to total $449.5bn in 2013, a slight decrease of 0.1 per cent from 2012, according to the calculations by analyst Gartner. This is estimate is a slight nudge down from the previous forecast of 0.2 per cent growth, as the analyst said government agencies continue to struggle against weak economic development.

“Cloud computing, in particular, continues to increase compared with prior years, driven by economic conditions and a shift from capital expenditure to operational expenditure, as well as potentially more important factors such as faster deployment and reduced risk,” said Christine Arcaris, research director at Gartner, in a statement.

But other, perhaps trickier projects have slid down the to-do list. “Other areas, such as data centre consolidation, are lower on the list than in previous years, perhaps demonstrating that they may have met resistance in a more strategic roll-outm” Arcaris added.

Public sector IT chiefs quizzed by Gartner said they are adopting public and private cloud-based services at an increasing rate, with 30 to 50 per cent of organisations planning for, or having an active IT services contract within the next 12 months, with the initial focus on software as a service.

The survey showed that momentum is building for bring your own device and 52 per cent of the organisations surveyed said employees are allowed to bring their own smartphones to work, and 50 per cent can use their own laptop, followed by tablets at 38 per cent.

The survey said that big data is not yet a high priority among survey respondents although it is gaining momentum. Government, with its enormous data sets generated by its interactions with the public, is often see as a particularly rich in potential for big data projects.