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Trying to sell into the state governments? Avoid these states

State governments are struggling to come up with budget to pay for much of anything these days.

Does your company sell to state governments? Most likely, the answer is 'Yes.' If so, you might find 2008 a bit difficult to sell to these states with serious tax shortfalls. California, Arizona, Washington D.C., Nevada, Florida, Rhode Island, Georgia, New Jersey, Delaware, and Tennessee: Housing problems and a range of other issues have conspired to drain tax coffers this year.

Take California. The state is $17 billion in the hole, having seen a 10.58 percent decline in home values (and associated tax revenue). The budget stands at $144 billion, which undoubtedly contains a fair amount of IT dollars.

States are using a variety of strategies to bring down costs, all but freezing budget growth. Open source can offer ways to save money for state governments, but it's going to be a tough sell into state governments even with open-source products in 2008.