The Time for IT Modernization is Now; Can Congress Make It Happen?

Chris Wiedemann_65 x 85CongressBy Chris Wiedemann, Consultant

Those of you who have been following our blog (or the myriad news sources surrounding federal IT) will be familiar with the many challenges facing government IT managers: cybersecurity, cloud migration, enabling mobility, providing more effective and efficient services to the American public…the list goes on.

As if that wasn’t difficult enough, federal customers are faced with flat or shrinking budgets, an increasing share of which goes to maintaining costly legacy systems instead of the modernization that federal technology desperately needs. According to estimates by US CIO Tony Scott, roughly 80% of total federal IT expenditure goes to steady state, or operations and maintenance – and that share is only going to increase. We’ve often heard about legal, cultural, or regulatory barriers to IT modernization and cloud adoption, but the question underpinning everything else remains: How can government actually pay for the modern technology it needs to execute its mission?

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How To Deal With the White House’s New Software Policy

Chris Wiedemann_65 x 85CategoryMgmt_070716By Chris Wiedemann, Consultant

Cutting back on expenses is never easy. Ever had to give up a daily Starbucks habit to save some money?

The White House’s recent attempt to cut back on wasteful software purchases could cause a lot more pain to software firms than just missing out on a caffeine fix.

The policy calls for agencies to appoint software managers to centrally manage their software buying, says a recent Nextgov article. Agencies will also have to maintain a continually updated inventory of software licenses to track usage and weed out potentially redundant applications.

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The Secret to Navigating Government IT

Chris Wiedemann_65 x 85US Capitol-Cheat SheetBy Chris Wiedemann, Consultant

Not much in business is harder to navigate than the federal government. Figuring out how to sell a single IT product into this massive universe of agencies and departments that spends trillions of dollars a year can be daunting.

That’s why every spring we go through the painstaking process of putting together our meaty Federal IT Cheat Sheet. It’s chock full of information on where agencies are spending the bulk of their budget, including what each program does, their tech requirements, and the large contractors working on them. It’s a useful planning tool for veterans of the government IT space, as well as newcomers.

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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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