Survival Tips for DOT’s IT Spending Freeze

IT Freeze_KSKevin Shaker_65 x 85by Kevin Shaker, Analyst, Market Intelligence

The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) is no longer a work in progress, it’s a full-blown reality. FITARA is leading the charge in some real IT reform — particularly at the Department of Transportation (DOT) —  as it currently assesses its IT budgets and plans. In case you didn’t know, FITARA puts more budget formulation and IT operational control into the hands of the CIO. DOT’s CIO, Richard McKinney, isn’t missing out on the opportunity to take advantage of his new role.

In the months leading up to FITARA being passed, McKinney expressed using FITARA as a baseline for IT spend analysis while meeting with DOT CTO, Maria Roat and FAA CIO, Tina Amereihn. In early December, we saw the result of those meetings: DOT IT purchasing was frozen until leadership can accurately measure spending levels. As McKinney said at FEDTALKS 2015 in November, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” The new stall time will be used for the department to gauge and analyze the scope of DOT’s IT purchasing and acquisition, cut back on redundancies, and determine necessities.

All of DOT’s CIOs will be required to submit detailed spending plans to the departmental Office of the Chief Information Officer before IT spending restarts. FAA, with the largest share of the Department’s IT dollars, is expected to feel the brunt of the freeze as the agency continues to finish NextGen activities. While DOT’s IT spending freeze temporarily puts the breaks on IT acquisition, it isn’t all doom and gloom for industry. The freeze gives technology companies the opportunity to come up with new strategies to approach the DOT IT community.

Here are some insights, “survival tips,” that will help you make the most of this spending freeze:

  1. Align Your Messaging with DOT’S HQ requirements
    As DOT’s CIO, McKinney has already proven himself to be a large proponent of FITARA’s capabilities.
  1. Reach Out to DOT CIO’s
    DOT Administration CIOs will also be incrementally vital to success as they continue to create and submit their spending plans to McKinney’s office.
  1. Have Informed Discussions That Differentiate Your Product
    Before meeting with DOT IT decision makers, understand your customer’s problems and preexisting IT framework. Then you can effectively tailor your product as the solution so that when they’re creating spending plans that shape their IT strategies, your product is top of mind.

Need help identifying top IT decision makers and opportunities at the Department of Transportation? Contact immixGroup’s industry-leading Market Intelligence team today to learn about specific programs and contacts that have a pressing need for your IT solution.

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