3 types of technology to sell to USAID right now

By Kevin Shaker, senior analyst

Many in the contracting community might be worried that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is lacking sales opportunities as it continues to face budget cuts. But this could also spell opportunity as the agency looks at new ways to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

This means that in addition to utilizing shared services, USAID has been increasingly buying automation technologies and higher caliber virtualized hardware. USAID also has a slightly higher level of development, modernization and enhancement dollars compared to the rest of the civilian average of around 20 percent, which helps fund its data infrastructure. If you are aware of the current trends and drivers within the organization you may find it less daunting. Here are three of the organization’s top IT priorities:

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The latest buzz at the Department of Interior

A drone flying over a wildfire. Photo by the Bureau of Land Management.

Drones have proven to be a vital tool for organizations across the government for achieving mission success. And the one federal department leading the charge expects the technology to play an even bigger role in gathering and analyzing data.

The Department of Interior (DOI) is one of the most advanced agencies on the drone front with its UAV disaster response and natural phenomenon reconnaissance programs. And by the end of this year, the department will grow to 180 trained operators–a number that has tripled in only half a year.

This rapid growth is important for the IT sector as the department looks for innovative solutions to help it process and analyze the data it gathers from drones.

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Federal IoT market to reach $3B by FY18

Mark Wisinger

By Kevin Shaker and Mark Wisinger, senior analysts

The internet of things today is what cloud was five to six years ago. A lot of people are interested in it and buying IT solutions that comprise IoT in disparate ways.

This is an exciting time for the IT industry because companies can influence how the market is shaped since it’s still so new. IoT is not a discrete technology but rather a wrapper encompassing many different technologies, and these solutions are ramping up in a big way through the growing amount of sensors and data.

The big picture projection is that $6 trillion will be spent on devices and IoT software across all industries in the next five years, according to Business Insider’s Business Intelligence research. We predict the federal IoT addressable market will hit $3 billion in FY18, up from $2.5 billion spent in FY16.

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SBA tech transformation underway, but more work needs to be done

By Kevin Shaker, senior analyst

When Maria Roat took the tech reins at the Small Business Administration last year, she promised to transition a large portion of the agency’s systems to the cloud. Things seem to be well underway, based on the chief information officer’s recent speech at the Citizen Engagement Summit hosted by FCW.

While SBA has made great strides since Roat, the former chief technology officer at the Department of Transportation, took over, tech companies still have opportunities to shape the future of IT at the SBA.

So far the agency has rebuilt SBA.gov’s interface, making it easier for small business owners to apply for loans and giving them easier access to loan processes and information. The website is also now mobile, giving internal and external customers more flexibility in how they use SBA’s services, which is a nice victory for Roat’s new leadership.

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Can IoT really make cities smart?

Kevin Shaker_65 x 85By Kevin Shaker, analystsmartcities_011217

A little over a year ago, the Department of Transportation launched its Smart City Challenge, which pulled together federal grant money and private funds to restructure and optimize city transportation infrastructures across the country. Now that the winning cities have been announced, companies with Internet of Things solutions may want to start conversations about what they can offer.

Denver, San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Portland have been awarded grants to implement their IoT plans for establishing the cities of tomorrow. In October 2016, DOT identified these finalist cities, along with non-profit grants totaling $500 million for revamped frameworks. DOT has also committed $100 million for research, development and implementation of automated technologies.

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Software defined networking gains government ground

Kevin Shaker_65 x 85SDN is taking shape in government; read immixGroup's blog for more!

By Kevin Shaker, analyst

Software Defined Networking (SDN) is making headway in next-generation government infrastructure, creating opportunities for technology companies that want to target this new growth area.

Much of SDN’s public sector growth has come from increasing demands from Congress to reduce costs while continuing to deliver new and innovative services to a growing and diverse citizen base. Unfortunately, many agencies are still relying on outdated legacy infrastructure.

SDN allows public sector organizations to create multiple virtual networks from a single physical one. While some organizations have already implemented fully-functional software defined networks, others are just beginning to scratch the surface.

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Can SBA’s New CIO Modernize the Small Agency?

Kevin Shaker_65 x 85sba-logoBy Kevin Shaker, Analyst

Maria Roat has left her position as chief technology officer of the Department of Transportation (DOT) to assume a new role as chief information officer at the Small Business Administration (SBA), replacing Renee Macklin.

If we look at her work at DOT, we may get a sense for how SBA’s IT shop will evolve under Roat’s leadership. For the last two years, she’s been responsible for issuing policy, planning milestones, and assessing the DOT’s IT framework, as well as establishing the IT Shared Services group within DOT’s Office of the CIO. She had also helped create the DOT Common Operating Environment, which is the cornerstone of DOT’s shared services. It’s comprised of the cloud IT infrastructure platform for non-FAA administrators.

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