DOD’s Top Priorities in FY13

tim larkins small pic. 67x84by Tim Larkins, Senior Manager, Market Intelligence

Budget constraints – an ugly term that everyone selling to the government is all too familiar with.  Unfortunately, that ugly term will continue to be tossed around in relation to IT procurement for the next 10 years.  As LPTA and contract consolidation continue to rise in popularity among the acquisition community, technology manufacturers are going to find themselves fighting even harder to compete and win business.  An important part of winning new business is understanding what is driving the purchase of new solutions.  If you’ve listened to immixGroup’s recent Budget Briefings, or if you’ve read our Market Intelligence blogs, you’ll recall a handful of trends that are emerging out of DOD agencies this year.  We are seeing a push to reduce the military force structure and get boots off the ground.  We are seeing efforts towards information sharing and elimination of duplicative applications and systems.  These are all attempts to do one thing:  save money.

But as the old adage goes:  you have to spend money to save money.  If you were to look closely at all the programs where money will be spent across DOD in FY13, you’d notice that every single one of them contribute to one of three major initiatives.

  1. Consolidate infrastructure
  2. Improve interoperability
  3. Improve tactical communications

When we look at programs like Navy’s CANES or the Air Force’s ITS, we can see a clear shift towards the consolidation of systems, applications, and networks, as well as migration to virtual desktops.  As a result we will start seeing some of the other COTS opportunities around that transition surface this year.  Air Force’s AFNET and DOD’s JIE initiative are perfect examples of the move toward improving standardization and interoperability.  We can expect information sharing capabilities to progress, as DISA works from an enterprise level to help the service branches with their efforts.  Finally, military operations are relying more heavily on drone strikes and moving toward more special operations.  Programs like the Army’s WIN-T help DOD to support those efforts.  And in case you missed it, the Army recently awarded its GTACS contract to 20 contractors.  Through this $10 billion ID/IQ, the Army will purchase products and services related to improving tactical communications to support the warfighter.

It’s critical for sales people to not get bogged down by the hysteria caused by budget constraints.  It’s important for sales people to understand the major initiatives that government customers are undertaking.  And it is essential for sales people to keep an eye on these major and funded programs that support infrastructure consolidation, interoperability, and tactical communications – because that’s where the money will be spent this year.


About Tim Larkins
Tim Larkins is Senior Director of Market Intelligence and Corporate Development at immixGroup. He has 15 years of experience in business development, management, consulting, and market intelligence helping suppliers and partners with budget analysis, market trends, and opportunity identification. Tim received a Bachelor's Degree from Furman University and an MBA from Benedictine University.

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