Measuring Up


What the U.S. Military is budgeted to spend in the next year on computer hardware and software

The Department of Defense, which understands the need to plan for contingencies and protect its human assets, expects to spend a mammoth amount of money procuring technology products this year. Indeed, the $21.5 billion that the Army, Air Force, and Navy have allocated for technology in the 2002 fiscal year (90% of it is for hardware and software, the rest for training and professional services) represents almost half of the federal government’s technology budget.

Billions of dollars may sound like a lot, and it’s certainly an order of magnitude beyond what even the biggest private-sector companies spend on technology products in any given year. But the $21.5 billion actually represents a 1% decrease versus what the military spent on technology in the fiscal year that just ended. Still, that’s better than the 1% to 3% decline in tech spending that research firm Gartner says may hit the private sector in the wake of Sept. 11. (In a second scenario—which it acknowledges is less likely—Gartner says private-sector technology spending could rise by 5% in 2002.) And if any entity is likely to get new funds appropriated for technology, it’s the military, which is playing a leading role in the campaign against global terrorism.