What the government’s latest report card really means

Chris Wiedemann

FITARA, IT modernization, report cardBy Chris Wiedemann, consultant

If the federal government were our 8th grade son or daughter, their cell phone would probably be taken away for the rest of the school year.

The government’s latest Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) report card, released earlier this month, has six agencies getting worse grades since the last report card in June, 15 staying the same and only three agencies making better grades. The U.S. Agency for International Development was the only one to earn an A.

While we’re not talking about algebra and biology here, the results show agencies falling behind in IT modernization. But it could mean an opportunity for tech companies that sell to government.

Read more of this post

This tech is not scary to government

converged, infrastructureBy Kevin Shaker, senior analyst

As government agencies make progress in eliminating siloed data centers and systems, the market for connected and hyper-converged technology is getting stronger.

Agencies are looking for suppliers that can help systems runs more efficiently and faster, so connected technologies that aid in virtualization, storage and networking will be the emphasized technologies for growth in FY18. The government spent more than $1.2 billion on connected technologies in FY17.

What has been driving the push toward connected and hyper-converged technology are regulations such as the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative, the Data Center Optimization Initiative and Cloud First policies. These policies have been tremendously effective at reducing costs from legacy stovepiped IT while streamlining functionality by encouraging purchasing of cutting-edge integration and converged systems.

Here are examples of how the government is utilizing hyper-converged platforms:

Read more of this post

What is a solicitation?

Chris WiedemannWhat is a prime and a sub?By Chris Wiedemann, consultant

In our last “What is…?” post, we covered one of the basics of federal contracting: the concept of a prime contractor and subcontractors, or “primes” and “subs.” However, we left a key question unanswered – how does the government actually decide which company to award prime contracts to?

As you might expect, there are a lot of moving parts involved in the awarding of government contracts, whether you’re talking about relatively simple product buys or complex, multi-layered systems development and integration work. No matter the scope, though, the competition process usually begins in one place – the solicitation.

Read more of this post

Can data save health IT security?

Lloyd McCoy Jr.By Lloyd McCoy, DOD manager

The military’s next battlefield could be moving to a hospital bed.

With the growth of new technologies like the internet of things in health care, the security of health IT systems is becoming more at risk. Another challenge is that medical devices are already several years old by the time they’re in active use in the Military Health System.

So could better use of data and analytics help make these systems more secure?

The military health system has a wealth of data and health IT professionals need to harness it to create business and medical intelligence. We don’t need systems to tell us what already happened, but to predict how to best use and position our medical resources to cater to service members and their families.

Read more of this post

What you need to know about September

2017 may only be rounding into its final quarter on the calendar, but for those of us in federal procurement, it’s approaching its end.

September is the last month of the government’s fiscal year, which means that business as usual is going to go on hold for the next four weeks. Our customers are in use-it-or-lose-it mode with their FY17 budgets, and our sales teams are going to be working around the clock to close deals and win new business.

Read more of this post

Here’s when you should be talking to your SLED customers

Rachel EckertSLED, procurement, sales, public sectorBy Rachel Eckert, consultant

The new state, local, and education (SLED) fiscal year kicked off July 1 for most of the market, and with that governments began a new budget (assuming of course that the legislature passed it). A new budget means fresh money and hope for many in the IT industry about new opportunities.

If you’ve worked in the public sector, be that federal or SLED, you know that nothing in government is immediate. Turning opportunities into deals takes time and careful planning. Also, having an understanding of the government’s planning cycle can help ensure that you’re approaching decision makers with proposals at the right time.

Here is a rundown of their planning cycle and what your actions should be during each quarter:

Read more of this post

The latest on the Social Security Administration’s IT needs

business and operations, infrastructure, social security administrationBy Kevin Shaker, senior analyst

Finding backend technology opportunities in the government has been tricky in recent years as agencies continue to push their environments toward shared services and Internet-as-a-Service.

However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is one of the few civilian agencies that’s a viable target in the upcoming fiscal year for companies that offer infrastructure and infrastructure support technologies.

Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: