Federal Tech Priorities in the Next Administration Will Not Change

Lloyd McCoy Jr.

By Lloyd McCoy, Market Intelligence Senior Manager

Regardless of changes in administration, count on federal government priorities staying steady over the next four years. You can look for continued focus on data use, the cloud and government procurement, as well as supply chain securityparticularly for emerging technologies like 5G.

Why? Many IT initiatives have been codified by laws.

For example, both the SECURE Technology Act and recent National Defense Authorization Act require the federal government to reduce supply chain threats and set criteria for products that may pose risks to the government. For vendors, it’s more important than ever to be able to trace exactly where your products originate.

The Modernizing Government Technology Act (MGT) allows agencies to apply money to IT modernization programs through working capital funds. The Technology Modernization Fund lets agencies borrow for emergency modernization projects. Vendors would be well advised to pay attention to what agencies are doing here to understand procurement goals.

Another piece of IT legislation that’s here to stay is FITARA. This act gives federal CIOs more discretion in agency IT spending. Vendors should pay attention to how agencies score in their quarterly report cards on data center consolidation, risk assessment, IT modernization and IT savings. These scorecards can help you plan your sales strategy.

Also unlikely to change are strategies for artificial intelligence, machine learning and data centricity. Agencies have been told to “promote sustained investment in AI R&D,” which will mean a prioritization of funding for artificial intelligence research.

Data centricity goals across government will demand vendors to engage with federal customers on how their solutions can secure data, display an audit trail and improve information storage and retrieval.

“Cloud Smart” is also here to stay. Agencies should have the flexibility to choose which cloud solution — public, private, hybrid or multi-cloud — will meet their needs. And given current circumstances, remote work will likely grow, making cloud more important still. Agencies will be wrestling with technology requirements in the growing shift toward hybrid work arrangements.

Finally, GSA’s Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) consolidation will continue, as GSA enters Phase Three of the program. Through MAS, GSA Schedule contractors provide over 10 million different supplies, products and services, translating to some $33 billion in transactions each year. Other Transaction Authorities (OTAs) also will continue as a way to cut through procurement red tape, and to help nontraditional suppliers provide innovative technology to agencies.

It’s as we’ve always said: Agencies need help from technology partners to ensure there are no gaps in mission delivery. So vendors need to show total cost of ownership, and how modernization plans translate to cost savings later.

Initiatives like AI/ML, Cloud Smart, and an overall focus on infrastructure modernization will be in play for the next four years and beyond. Vendors prepared to respond to those initiatives will be poised for success.

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This blog is adapted from an article that originally ran in Washington Technology. For that article, follow this link.


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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