VITA: Virginia spending $117 a month per laptop

Source: Travis Fain, Daily Press, June 19, 2015

It costs the state nearly $117 a month to run a laptop computer, and $98 for a desktop.

These figures are nearly all-encompassing, bundling purchasing costs, a replacement schedule, Internet service, security, server space, program licenses, tech-support, networking, data backups – pretty much everything it takes except electricity and the worker at the keyboard.

The figures come from VITA, the Virginia Information Technologies Agency, which presented them last week to a General Assembly research arm, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission. Virginia is approaching an IT crossroads: It must decide whether to stick with Northrop Grumman, its private IT partner of 10 years via an oft-maligned contract, or overhaul its IT operation.

The per-month costs seem high, according to JLARC’s chairman and to House Appropriations Committee Chairman S. Chris Jones, who also sits on JLARC’s board. But context is hard to come by, and legislators say they’ll know more when a consultant’s report comparing costs to other states is complete…..