Shifting Priorities in the Upcoming FY21 Budget

Lloyd McCoy Jr.

By Lloyd McCoy, Market Intelligence Manager

With the start of the FY21 fiscal year just a few months away, the debate between the executive and legislative branches over priorities and tradeoffs in the FY21 budget will soon begin in earnest. At the heart of the discussion will be on what changes need to be made to the FY21 budget request presented in February, given the current environment.

Areas like artificial intelligence already have seen increased funding support in the request, but we’ll see more focus on areas specific to robotic process automation, security analytics and data mining — due to the ways agencies have had to adapt to conduct their missions.

It’s safe to say that every federal department will ultimately receive a budget that reflects the changing times. Additionally, it’s also safe to say that the priorities reflected in the upcoming budget will be needed indefinitely — to remain vigilant against future threats.

Here are some of the primary federal players that could see the biggest changes in the makeup and composition of their FY21 budget request:

The Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency within the Department of Homeland Security, will likely see additional CAPEX investments related to analytics added to their budget to help them track, identify and analyze diagnostic data. Advanced analytics will be especially useful for forecasting. Making sense of the surges of both structured and unstructured data across both public and private sector domains could provide deeper insights to address current circumstances. Accurately predicting and pinpointing where and when resources will be needed will facilitate efficient deployment.

In FY2021 and beyond, expect increased investments at both the Custom and Border Protection and Centers for Disease Control in the areas of advanced screening capabilities and storing, processing, analyzing and sharing that screened data at the edge.

Expect health providers at the Department of Veterans Affairs and Military Health System to accelerate adoption of 5G and IoT-enabled solutions that facilitate telehealth and telemedicine.

Additionally, all agencies for the next year at least, will likely be under Office of Management and Budget guidelines that feature relaxed telework policies. We’re even seeing emerging use cases of classified work being done at home. This will cause prolonged strain on networks, so expect in the next budget increased investments for tools that can maximize throughput through government VPNs. And of course, additional identity and access security investments will come in tandem with the increase in telework as the volume of government employees that access government networks from their homes increases.

The focus on agility, quick implementation and buying ready-made solutions extends to acquisition. Expect increased use of Other Transaction Authority (OTAs) and other rapid acquisition vehicles by health agencies to combat the threat. This is notable as the health IT space has been somewhat slow-moving in utilizing these non-traditional acquisition vehicles.

While budget priorities may shift, I don’t expect substantial increases in available money. The need for efficiency will be greater than ever. Consequently, program managers and CIOs are going to be receptive to how existing installs can be rededicated toward other use cases.


Reach out to immixGroup’s Market Intelligence team to gain deeper insights into government requirements and chart your course of action.

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About Lloyd McCoy Jr.
Lloyd McCoy is the manager of immixGroup’s Market Intelligence organization, leveraging market analysis and purchasing trends to help immixGroup suppliers and partners shorten their sales cycles. He has a M.S. in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University, a M.A. in Public Policy and a B.A. in Political Science, both from the University of Maryland. Prior to joining immixGroup, Lloyd was a senior analyst in the Intelligence Community for eight years, serving in a variety of senior analytic and project management positions in the U.S. and abroad.

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