3 types of technology to sell to USAID right now

By Kevin Shaker, senior analyst

Many in the contracting community might be worried that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is lacking sales opportunities as it continues to face budget cuts. But this could also spell opportunity as the agency looks at new ways to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

This means that in addition to utilizing shared services, USAID has been increasingly buying automation technologies and higher caliber virtualized hardware. USAID also has a slightly higher level of development, modernization and enhancement dollars compared to the rest of the civilian average of around 20 percent, which helps fund its data infrastructure. If you are aware of the current trends and drivers within the organization you may find it less daunting. Here are three of the organization’s top IT priorities:

Automation

The organization’s has an 80-person IT staff and 200-300 contractors under the Office of the Chief Information Officer, where you will find the bulk of IT sales opportunities. There’s a good chance the organization will receive even more budget cuts in the coming years. The agency has seen an average of 6 percent budget cuts for the last few years, with its FY18 IT budget coming in at around $1.9 billion.

If budget cuts continue, automation technologies will be prioritized. If your company offers those solutions, you’ll want to reach out now to indicate how your product can help with cutbacks on manpower and resources that are being used for projects and overhead.

Information sharing

USAID works closely with the Department of State since the two organizations share a similar global mission to the extent that State houses USAID employees around the world at its many consulates and embassies. Due to this heavily connected relationship, employees of both agencies need access to databases and tools housed under the two infrastructures.

If your company offers data integration, collaboration or information-sharing software, you will have a significant opportunity to sell your solutions to program managers who oversee those tools. Your pitch should focus on technology that enables usability, access management and reliable data retrieval and transferral from system to system. Staff members are continually entering data into multiple systems, creating duplication of time and resources and the potential for errors—all challenges your technology should be able to solve.

Visualization and analytics

On another front, USAID has been investing in mobile devices and software over the past two years but does not have the visualization and analytics software to make sense of mobile data. It’s a realm that the organization struggles with in general.

So if you have these technologies you should reach out to USAID program managers and explain to them how your solutions can interpret and craft meaningful analytics.

Cyber vendors will want to be aware that the agency also plans to strengthen security controls for patch and configuration management due to a few vulnerabilities identified by the agency’s OIG.

Want to learn more about IT priorities at USAID and the State Department? Listen to my recent webinar: Department of State Building Next-Gen IT Backbone. (insert link) For other requests reach out to your account manager at immixGroup to gain insights from the immixGroup Market Intelligence team.

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