Where USDA Will Focus Its IT Spend in FY17

Kevin Shaker_65 x 85USDAwebinar_081816By Kevin Shaker, Analyst

Big data and analytics technology will be in hot demand at the Department of Agriculture (USDA) in FY17. Why? The U.S. agriculture industry is going through a major transition: Climate change is affecting temperate thresholds for certain crops, urban sprawl is spreading over potentially useful crop land, and farmers are battling consumer diet and income changes.

With so many variables, USDA CIO Jonathan Alboum has emphasized the absolute importance of big data and analytics, along with visualization technology in USDA’s IT structure.

Besides the department’s plans to acquire analytics software on the backend for its drone technology implementation, the department will also use it in the build-out of the service center agency loan processing systems. Specifically at the Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Rural Development, these systems with need tools for analyzing customer feedback and loan applications. Analytics will help end-users visualize and interpret data sets for achieving increased system efficiency and refined processes.

USDA has been an important target for vendors to jump in since there is an ample amount of key decision makers affecting IT buys at headquarters and the department’s sub-agencies. Big data and analytics vendors should target these avenues:

  • Client Technology Services (CTS), which supplies end-user hardware, software, and services to USDA agencies. CTS also runs its own end-user hardware and software service catalog for the entire department, so it’s an opportunity for IT vendors that want to penetrate multiple agencies.
  • USDA agencies with mission-specific IT systems also offer opportunities, especially if the organization contains mission-specific analytical systems that can’t be obtained through CTS. No, matter how you approach USDA, speaking to business analytics will be the easiest way to get a foot in the door.

Want to hear more about opportunities at USDA? Listen to our on-demand webinar on United States Department of Agriculture IT Sales Opportunities. Also catch our Department of Interior IT Sales Opportunities webinar to get specifics on DOI’s major IT initiatives and funded programs.

One Response to Where USDA Will Focus Its IT Spend in FY17

  1. Carolyn Jackson says:

    Thanks, Kevin. Great article!

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