What to watch now that we have a federal budget

By Chris Wiedemann, consultant

Last Friday, as the rain pounded the Washington, D.C. region, my colleague, Tom O’Keefe, and I huddled in a recording studio to chat with Mark Amtower on federal IT trends for his Amtower Off-Center show.

The 45-minute segment was posted here yesterday. Here are highlights of what we think the IT industry needs to know now that there’s a budget in place for the rest of the year.

Big picture: The omnibus passed by Congress definitely loosens up funding for several agencies, thus creating more opportunities for contractors to see some deals. Projects that had been on hold may now start moving ahead. Not only will program managers and acquisition folks be looking for year-end spend now given that the omnibus came so late, they’re also going to be working through their FY18 request. Overall, we anticipate the market will remain mostly flat in FY17.

Department of Homeland Security: One of the key sources of opportunities at DHS will be protecting the border. Without funding for the border wall, the department will be looking to technology, specifically sensors and new mobile capabilities to handle border protection. In terms of contract activity, DHS leaders have said the department will look for the best contract vehicles possible to meet mission needs. That might mean standing up new DHS vehicles or forging greater alliances with some of the General Services Administration’s Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWAC).

Department of Veterans Affairs: The VA will continue investing in devices, security and networking, as well as looking at possible changes to its electronic health record. The VA will also look to expand its health platform and potentially standardizing on a financial management platform and bringing in some CRM capabilities to better deal with veteran interactions.

NASA: Cybersecurity will be a big push at NASA, so companies should be talking to the agency about their solutions now. There’s also a continued cloud push by NASA. In fact, we expect to see agencies replicate NASA’s successful cloud strategies. The space agency will also focus on identifying efficiencies in the scientific and engineering process, as well as looking at people-centered analytics and looking at how to use those solutions to transform the workplace.

Mobile: Tom says this is an exciting time for mobile technology in government as we move from the growing pains of BYOD to new and exciting mobile solutions. One of the big focus areas will be on mobile security, especially for government workers who want to work remotely and need secure access to centralized systems.

To hear more of what we talked about on Amtower Off-Center, including the internet of things and security, click here. And learn more about immixGroup’s Market Intelligence capabilities and how we help technology companies do business with the government.

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