What Really is the Future of Cloud?

Chris Wiedemann_65 x 85FEF photoBy Chris Wiedemann, Consultant

There’s a real chance that 5-10 years from now, the way we deliver technology to government will fundamentally change. We just need to make sure we can maintain the same level of partnership and focus on the government mission, while providing the same level of choice in what the technology industry has to offer.

That was my answer to “What is the future of cloud?”—one of the many discussions among industry and government cloud experts at the recent Federal Executive Forum on Secure Cloud Computing in Government 2016. The radio program was broadcast on Federal News Radio with moderator Jim Flyzik directing the conversation.

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What’s Next for Cloud in the Federal Government?

blog-ChrisWBy Chris Wiedemann, Consultant

immixGroup’s Event Center was packed to the gills the morning of April 12 with technology companies looking for insight into what’s next for federal cloud adoption. The good news is new federal policy, renewed emphasis from government leaders, and updated acquisition methods are creating opportunities for industry to sell technology as a service to the federal government.

So where are the cloud-specific opportunities? My colleague, DOD Manager Lloyd McCoy, and I talked on this issue for nearly an hour during our Market Intelligence Briefing portion of the event.

Here are some key highlights from this discussion that demonstrate where we’re seeing an uptick on cloud adoption in the federal IT community: Read more of this post

Market Intelligence Cloud Briefing: Tech Trends and Federal Opportunities

CloudChris Wiedemannby Chris Wiedemann, Senior Analyst

The federal government’s “Cloud First” policy, originally part of Vivek Kundra’s 25-Point Plan, is almost five years old – and yet there’s still plenty of confusion and uncertainty surrounding federal cloud adoption. What are the major challenges facing customers moving into the cloud? How much progress has been made on the commonly-cited challenges of security, data ownership, and elastic procurement within the confines of federal acquisition regulations? How will new policy and regulatory developments affect federal cloud business, and what do industry cloud providers need to know to begin marketing their services?

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Three Key Takeaways from the President’s FY17 Budget Request

US Flag, Capitol Building and MoneyAlthough it probably feels like FY16 just arrived (in part because, well, it did just arrive), industry received a timely reminder this week via the President’s FY17 budget request that now is the time to start thinking long-term.

While it’s tempting to overlook this request — since it’s the last one made under the current administration — those of us in the IT community should pay close attention to the IT-specific sections of this request. There’s a lot in the request that has bipartisan appeal, and one proposal in particular could up end most of what we currently know about selling IT to the government.

Here are three key points from the President’s FY17 budget request you should know:

  1. A $3.1 billion multi-year fund for IT modernization is in the works
    This is the greatest departure from current practice, and if implemented, could dramatically affect the way government buys IT. This fund would be carried forward by reinvesting long-term savings on maintenance spend — so it would both free up and incentivize federal customers to invest in innovative technology and finally, combat the rise of steady state expenditure (which makes up more than 70% of the FY17 IT request).

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3 Things You Should Know About the FY16 Omnibus

OmniBus_CWChris Wiedemann_65 x 85by Chris Wiedemann, Senior Analyst

Late Tuesday night, news broke that a spending deal was agreed on by both the House and Senate. Barring an unforeseen emergency or last-minute change of heart, it now looks like the remainder of the fiscal year will be funded by an Omnibus appropriations bill. This is obviously great news for both the government and their industry partners — as a full-year Continuing Resolution (CR) would have frozen many new programs and investments.

At first glance, the Omnibus itself reveals some interesting details that could affect the IT community at large.

Here are three things you should know about the new appropriations package:

  1. Not a Law Just Yet

Although both the House and the Senate have agreed on the broad terms of the bill, neither chamber has actually voted on it — and the earliest they are likely to do so is tomorrow. This means that another short-term CR will be necessary to avoid a temporary shutdown. Read more of this post

3 Aspects of Navigating Government Convergence

ImmixgroupGOVit-219_250x166Chris Wiedemann_65 x 85by Chris Wiedemann, Senior Analyst

As immixGroup’s 2nd Annual Government IT Sales Summit draws closer, I want to give you an inside look at the major theme of this year’s 11th Annual Civilian Budget Briefing: convergence. Whether in acquisition, management structure, or technology, the federal COTS market is positioned to come together in new ways this year.

Here are three broad trends the Market Intelligence organization will explore next Thursday, November 19th at the 2nd Annual Government IT Sales Summit: Read more of this post

3 Questions Every COTS Vendor Should Ask in Preparation for FY16

End of FY15_CWChris Wiedemann_65 x 85by Chris Wiedemann, Senior Analyst

It’s the last couple days of the 2015 government fiscal year, which to most of us means only one thing: closing year-end business. Selling COTS products to the government can get pretty hectic around this time of year, so you’d be forgiven for overlooking a salient and somewhat worrying fact: we still have no agency funding for FY16.

With exactly 2 days left of FY15 (and counting) the only existing Continuing Resolution (CR) flat lined in the Senate, although Congress does appear poised to pass a clean CR which has a good chance of making it to the President’s desk. Still, they are dealing with a very tight deadline and we might be in for another brief government shutdown before Congress can put a short-term CR in place.

The good news is, we’ve been here before. The beginning of FY14 became famous for its 16-day government shutdown. While it was painful for both the government and its industry partners, COTS manufacturers made a rebound, showing strong results at the end of the fiscal year. In the event of another shutdown, the best advice we can give to the COTS community is “hold tight.” While having most of your customers furloughed to begin a fiscal year isn’t ideal — and the impacts of a shutdown on the larger economy are significant COTS vendors will likely emerge more or less unscathed. All that being said, there are still important questions that need to be answered and issues that need to be addressed as we enter FY16’s uncertain beginning. Read more of this post

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