What is a prime and a sub?

Chris WiedemannWhat is a prime and a sub?So far in our “What is…?” series, we’ve covered some of the basics of selling commercial items to the federal government, and with good reason – at immixGroup, our suppliers and partners are in the commercial business, and we care about the way our customers buy our products.

However, if you dig into the numbers, you’ll see that the bulk of the federal government’s annual IT spending doesn’t go to buying standalone commercial products. Instead, the bulk of IT contracting is done for services – in other words, paying companies to do things like staff federal data centers; provide hosting and infrastructure management; or develop, engineer and manage complex solutions and mission systems.

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The latest on the Social Security Administration’s IT needs

business and operations, infrastructure, social security administrationFinding backend technology opportunities in the government has been tricky in recent years as agencies continue to push their environments toward shared services and Internet-as-a-Service.

However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is one of the few civilian agencies that’s a viable target in the upcoming fiscal year for companies that offer infrastructure and infrastructure support technologies.

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A continuing resolution is inevitable. Here’s what you need to do

continuing resolution, install base, federal government, budgetBy Stephanie Meloni, consultant

There’s a strong possibility of beginning FY18 under a continuing resolution (CR), so technology companies doing business in the public sector need to be aware of how this will impact sales. Since a CR keeps the government funded at the previous year’s budget, this will mean no new program starts or capital expenditures. The government is basically funding itself to keep the lights on and performing last year’s mission.

CRs have become more and more common in recent years, however, the next CR we face may be longer than most, as experts say it may need to extend into December.

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When will CYBERCOM Split from NSA?

As soon as Congress passed the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the clock began to tick on CYBERCOM’s elevation to a fully-fledged combatant command.

The NDAA included a clause that mandated CYBERCOM’s elevation to full COCOM status, although there are a few provisions that give us a clue as to when that may occur. Before CYBERCOM can be formally split from Strategic Command, it must reach full operating capability and Congress must approve of CYBERCOM’s readiness.

So what does that mean for the IT industry? With CYBERCOM’s rising and sizeable budget, there’s a lot of opportunity for cybersecurity vendors. But first it’s important to understand what needs to happen for CYBERCOM to split from STRATCOM.

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Government’s answer to cybersecurity is the most simple and most complicated

Lloyd McCoy Jr.cybersecurity, information sharingBy Lloyd McCoy, DOD manager

The key to tackling cybersecurity threats in government is a simple lesson most of us learned in preschool: how to share.

Information sharing among federal departments could be the answer to combating cyberattacks. But the big question is whether the Department of Defense and other agencies can share enough.

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Here’s what to expect at the end of the fiscal year. (Hint: It’s going to be more chaotic)

Chris Wiedemannfederal budget, fiscal year, procurementBy Chris Wiedemann, consultant

The end of the federal fiscal year is just around the corner and it always brings its share of chaos as agencies scramble to make the most out of their “use it or lose it” money. This year will be no different.

In fact, given the truncated nature of this year’s omnibus funding bill, the situation on the buy-side has become even more chaotic, as customers try to move through FY17 appropriations and secure FY18 budget requests at the same time.

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New cyber authorities in new DHS legislation

Tom O'Keefecybersecurity, department of homeland securityBy Tom O’Keefe, consultant

A bill that has just made its way through the House would finally reauthorize the Department of Homeland Security, which has only been authorized once, in 2002.

There are several cyber provisions included in the House bill, which could mean a lot of opportunity for cybersecurity vendors if it ends up passing in the Senate (where it has, unfortunately, stalled before). But there’s a good chance that even if the bill doesn’t pass, we’ll see some of the additional authorities and responsibilities making their way to DHS components anyway.

Most of the specific provisions in the bill of interest here are ones that require certain components to own responsibility for cybersecurity of various locations. For example, the Transportation Security Administration would be responsible for assessing the cybersecurity of aviation systems, including airports and airlines, developing an information sharing project across the airline industry and assessing the vulnerabilities of the systems that house TSA PreCheck.

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