Top 3 HHS IT programs planning procurements in FY22

By Jessica Parks, market intelligence analyst

In a previous blog post, I went over the top three IT programs at the Department of Justice planning acquisitions. Now that the new administration has released the official FY22 budget, I would like to explore similar opportunities at another large agency, the Department of Health and Human Services. (As I’ve mentioned previously, this information is all publicly available in the Exhibit 53.)

Read on for a brief description of these programs and how you can position yourself accordingly.

1) CMS Federally Facilitated Exchange

Based within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the FFE is the platform that supports the health insurance marketplace. This is the single largest IT investment at HHS and has been a crucial system for the agency for many years. Total IT funding for FY22 is expected to be more than $417M, with $176M being DME funding (i.e., new money to spend on program upgrades and additions).

The main objectives for this investment are to stay innovative and ensure minimal downtime. Automated customer service solutions as well as solutions that ensure secure information sharing could play a role here. Talk to the folks in the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight for more detail.

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How the federal government is working to secure our energy infrastructure

By Jessica Parks, market intelligence analyst

In a previous blog post, immixGroup Supplier Manager Derek Giarratana elaborated on the constant threat of ransomware and how the public sector can address it. Ransomware is one of the significant threats facing American energy infrastructure, as the Colonial pipeline incident has shown.

Federal agencies such as the Department of Energy are spearheading efforts to tackle not just ransomware, but other cyber threats that can jeopardize the safe functioning of energy delivery systems.

Here are three of DOE’s top priorities for securing energy infrastructure:

(1) Monitoring and analytics

Monitoring the grid (the entire network of generators involved in delivering power) and making sense of the data they produce is crucial. Many of the national labs under DOE are working to improve current processes. Labs such as Lawrence Livermore National Lab, the National Energy Technology Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Lab have been particularly active in developing solutions to automate grid monitoring, applying predictive analytics to anticipate future cyber events and modeling complex grid infrastructures.

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Top 3 Cloud Security Priorities in the Federal Government

By Jessica Parks, Market Intelligence Analyst

The last year of teleworking has caused an uptick in hybrid and multi-cloud environments, due to the flexibility, scalability and cost efficiencies that these environments offer dispersed teams. As federal agencies look to their futures within these increasingly complex environments, you can bet security is top of mind. When talking with your customers about how you can help provide peace of mind, keep in mind they are likely prioritizing one (or all!) of the following:

1) Baking security into products during the development process

As more federal software development teams embrace DevOps and DevSecOps, they recognize that developing applications on cloud platforms can further shorten timelines for spinning up new solutions. With this recognition comes an increased focus on baking security into these solutions during the development process.

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Top 3 DOJ IT Programs Planning Procurements in FY21

By Jessica Parks, Market Intelligence Analyst

When following the money within the federal government, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the specific programs attracting that money. (For more detail on what a “program” is, check out my colleague Lloyd McCoy’s recent blog post. ) Identifying particular programs that may have a need you can meet will help narrow down your target field to the specific offices and folks who will most want to hear about your solution.

In this blog, I focus on the Department of Justice and the top 3 programs by funding that are planning acquisitions in FY21, per the Exhibit 53. If you’d like to know more what’s in this document, read our blog, What is Exhibit 53?

(1) FBI Network Services

This is the FBI’s standard network infrastructure investment, with total FY21 funding around $103M ($9.3M in DME funding). One significant focus here will likely be on cybersecurity tools, as improving information security has long been a priority for the bureau. The IT Infrastructure Division under the Information and Technology Branch handles the bureau’s network, and they will be the group to speak with about any tools you may have that will support secure networking.

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Top Federal Civilian Cybersecurity Trends in FY21

By Jessica Parks, Market Intelligence Analyst

With the recent Solarwinds breach, IT vendors who sell to the government may be wondering about its impact on their customers’ needs. Federal civilian agencies have already made cybersecurity a top priority for FY21, so while the breach by itself will not directly spur significant new initiatives or projects, it still emphasized the urgency of getting defenses up to speed.

With fresh awareness around cybersecurity gaps, there has never been a better time to check on your government customers and help them fulfill their security needs. Read on for a high-level overview of the top 3 trends in federal cybersecurity for FY21.

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Finding Strategic Opportunities in Flat Federal IT Budgets

By Jessica Parks, Analyst

While federal agencies are currently making do with their FY20 budgets for IT, the end date for the current continuing resolution looms on December 11. A few agencies, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, have requested a significant uptick in FY21 IT funding for large ongoing projects. However, for other agencies such as Treasury, Justice and Homeland Security, IT funding will remain steady or even drop a bit.

It is important to keep in mind that “steady” does not automatically equal a drop in opportunities. The mission continues regardless, and the focus is going to be on working smarter and more efficiently. Here are three focus points to consider when your customer is looking to squeeze every drop out of a flat IT budget.

1) Automation and Machine Learning Solutions

Departments across the entire federal government, both defense and civilian, are already incorporating automated solutions to make their employees’ lives easier. To work within tight budgets and (sometimes) shrinking workforces,  departments are automating business processes, parts of customer service operations and some cyber operations. The goal is not just speed, but also efficiency and accuracy. Read more of this post

Top 3 FY21 Opportunities at the Department of Education

By Jessica Parks, Analyst

With another busy year end in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look to FY21. While large agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services always attract attention due to their budgets and high-visibility projects, it’s important to remember that other agencies across government also require your assistance to deliver, innovate and economize.

One such agency, the Department of Education, has requested $5 million for FY21 to establish a Working Capital Fund, showing that accelerating IT modernization will be a priority. Read on for the top 3 areas poised for significant investment.

1) NextGen Federal Student Aid (FSA)

Located in the Office of Federal Student Aid, this approximately $1B program seeks to improve the experience of external customers (such as students) in their interactions with FSA. The program covers a myriad of areas, from business process management to cybersecurity to data management and analytics. High on the list for FY21 are mobile solutions, self-service tools (think machine learning and AI solutions) and records and content management.  Read more of this post

Two Areas of Growth for Cloud Solutions in FY21

By Jessica Parks, Analyst

With the federal government on track to invest $7.1B in cloud technologies by the end of FY20 (according to Bloomberg), the cloud migration train is chugging right along with no signs of stopping. While it may seem like there is endless opportunity in the federal market for PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS-related solutions, you will still want to maintain a strategic and targeted approach. As always, you will want to have at least a baseline idea of where your customers are at in their cloud journey, but you will also want to keep an eye on the following two areas where agencies will be looking for your assistance in FY21.

Data Management and Sharing

With the ever-increasing flow of information, how to manage, secure and transfer that data – especially the associated costs – continues to be a major concern for agencies. Chezian Sivagnanam, Chief Enterprise Architect at the National Science Foundation, stated in a Federal News Network webinar back in March that in the future, IT teams will be “focused on moving data, not servers.”  Read more of this post

Two New Sales Opportunities at Commerce That Are NOT Census-Related

By Jessica Parks, Market Intelligence Analyst

Don’t let the Department of Commerce’s understandable focus on the 2020 Census distract you from other sales opportunities within the cabinet-level agency. The need for better data analytics is opening up initiatives at two of its sub-agencies, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Fundamentally, both USPTO and NOAA have requirements around the processing, management and analysis of large volumes of data. If your technology can help them meet these requirements, you will have a foot in the door for a procurement you and your competitors may otherwise have missed.   Read more of this post

Beyond Border Security: FY21 Trade-Related Opportunities at CBP

By Jessica Parks, Analyst

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), under the Department of Homeland Security, is widely known as the organization that secures our nation’s borders, but they also regulate goods entering and leaving the country through the Office of Trade (OT).

CBP receives almost 30% of the DHS IT budget, and while it’s always looking to enhance the border infrastructure, there are a few major trade-focused technology programs that have been moving forward with big plans of their own. Read on to learn what those programs are and what they’re looking for. Read more of this post

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