Federal Cloud in FY15: Old Roadblocks, 3 New Opportunities

Photo of Chris Wiedemannby Chris Wiedemann, Senior Analyst

The Government Accountability Office Here is A Snapshot of Cloud in FY15(GAO) recently released a report tracking the progress of seven agencies’ in achieving their cloud computing implementation goals; unfortunately parts of it made for quite a nostalgic reading. The report profiled seven agencies – including HHS, Treasury, and USDA – and noted while each of these agencies increased their cloud spending between FY12 and FY14, the grand total of agency-reported cloud investments was only $529 million (averaging 2% of evaluated IT budgets). In other words, despite the 25 Point Plan instituting a Cloud First policy in 2011, federal agencies appear to have made very little progress in meeting their cloud goals; some reasons cited for slow adoption sound awfully familiar as well – with security concerns and cultural resistance to cloud computing coming up yet again.

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The Future of the Joint Information Environment (JIE)…

Stephanie Headshot 65x85by Stephanie Meloni, Senior Analyst

Last week DISA and key Army leaders convened with industry at an AFCEA DC luncheon to weigh-in on the Army’s future IT priorities, address the current status of some of their larger efforts, and discuss available funding. Of course, JIE was weighing heavy on everyone’s mind; the Air Force, Army, and DISA continue to be committed to partnering together, implementing projects for shared architectures and services.

Here are key projects all three agencies are working on:

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Office of the Secretary of Defense on the Hunt for a BPM Suite — RSVP by 4 p.m. Today for OSD’s Industry Day

Rick Antonucci_65x85by Rick Antonucci, Analyst

A new opportunity has sprung up for BPM manufacturers. The Office of the Secretary of Defense released a Sources Sought notice on FBO for a Business Process Management suite last Tuesday. OSD’s Program Development and Implementation office within the Defense Procurement & Acquisition Policy Office is interested in sourcing a COTS or GOTS BPM suite to support DOD procurement efforts. To that end they will be hosting an industry day in McLean, VA on September 19th with RSVPs due on the 16th with second industry day anticipated in mid to late October.

Right now OSD is looking to conduct market research to gather information from industry on available solutions for BPM suites with Full and Open competition anticipated down the line. Responses to the sources sought notice are due on September 26th.

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FY15 Defense IT Budget Forecast: Cloudy with No Chance of Sequestration

Lloyd McCoy_65x85by Lloyd McCoy Jr., Consultant

The FY15 base DOD budget request came in at $495.6 billion, (about even with FY14) but more importantly, it’s under OMB’s budgetary caps, meaning sequestration isn’t in the cards for this year. Diving into the DOD IT budget, we see a 6% drop from FY14 to about $36.4 billion; fortunately, much of this decline has to do with a shrinking workforce and cost-savings generated by earlier IT investments.

Soldier with Flag Draped in BackgroundYes the budget is down 6% from last year, but before you go running for the hills, it’s important to remember the following: while the IT budget is reduced from FY14, agencies that purchased software are continuing to purchase software— and with no sequestration and government shutdown in sight, we’re positioned to see a better FY15 than we did FY13.

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How to Sell Your Products to the Army in FY15

Stephanie Headshot 65x85by Stephanie Meloni, Senior Analyst

Despite declining budgets, the Army remains one of the largest IT organizations in the world, and it still has the largest IT budget of all the services. Army’s FY15 budget request represents about a 10 percent reduction in funding US Army Logofrom FY14 enacted levels. Many of the IT initiatives the Army is implementing to modernize their systems and networks deal with consolidation, simplification, and standardization – and this accounts for some of the reduced funding levels, since there aren’t as many costly legacy systems to maintain. So, for the COTS community, this reduction in funding isn’t all bad news, especially if your products can help the government operate more efficiently. In FY15, many of the IT modernization efforts will focus on making systems interoperable as well.

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GSA RFI Requires O&M, Middleware & Hosting Support

Mohamad Elbarasse_headshot_7-23-2013_For WordPressby Mohamad ElbarasseAnalyst

GSA recently extended the response date for the Pegasys Hosting and Operations and Maintenance contract to August 5, 2014. GSA’s primary goal is to find application and support models that will lower the overall hosting and O&M costs of Pegasys, GSA’s version of Momentum Financials and core financial system. Pegasys supports funds management (budget execution and purchasing), credit cards, accounts payable, disbursements, standard general ledger, and reporting at the GSA.

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Lower Budget Doesn’t Mean Less Opportunity at HHS

Christopher Wiedemann_headshot-65 x 85by Chris Wiedemann, Senior Analyst

Last week, we talked about looking forward to FY15 and beginning to make some strategic decisions about sales targets at your agencies. Well, if you sell to HHS and you followed that advice, you may have noticed something a little concerning – namely, the department’s requested IT budget of $8.6 billion is significantly down from their FY14 enacted level of $9.6 billion. At first glance, it looks like the department may be getting squeezed in the aftermath of the Affordable Care Act rollout, and a lower budget almost always looks like bad news to industry. If HHS is a customer, you’re probably asking yourself how much the projected budget decrease will affect your total addressable market.

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Five Creative Ways to Reach the Federal Government

Brian Chidester_65x85by Brian Chidester, Manager, Strategic Accounts & Content Marketing

One common trend we have expounded upon in length recently is the shrinking number of touchpoints with both C-level and end-user government personnel, due in large part to the reduction in travel to conferences and events. Understanding where these “govies” go for information is one great way to ensure that you are reaching them and that your message is being seen or heard.

BlogPost_MainPageImageFollowing a review of the 2014 Federal Media & Marketing Study, which highlighted key trends for where and how
Federal government employees consume content and information, some interesting information came out of it. For one, statistics from the report noted that print is not dead in the Federal market. While circulations have decreased in the past decade, publications including Government Executive and Federal Times are still being heavily read. In fact, nearly half of all surveyed read both of these publications. Additionally, with 80% of “govies” utilizing their mobile device for information, this can be a unique way to reach them like never before.

Here are five other creative ways to reach the Federal government audience in places they are engaging within.

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Data Services Opportunity at the FAA

Mohamad Elbarasse_headshot_7-23-2013_For WordPressby Mohamad ElbarasseAnalyst

The FAA released an RFI for data services under the Aeronautical Communication Services (ACS) contract on June 10. The solicitation calls out services supporting the exchange of data between various FAA systems and facilities. Responses are due on July 10, 2014.

The contract would support the transfer of data products to and from the following networks and systems:

  • National Airspace Data Interchange Network (NADIN)
  • Tower Data Link Services (TDLS)
  • Traffic Flow Management System (TFMS)
  • Advanced Technologies and Oceanic Procedures (ATOP)
  •  Dynamic Oceanic Tracking System (DOTS)
  • Meteorological Data Collection and Reporting System (MDCRS)

The prospective vendor would be required to comply with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices, International Air Transport Association (IATA) Addressing Standards, FAA Procedures, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requirements as needed.

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The $6B Health IT Market: Exploring Opportunities Beyond EHRs

Christopher Wiedemann_headshot-65 x 85by Chris Wiedemann, Senior Analyst

Health IT in the federal government represents a $6 billion market.

Let that number sink in. It may seem high, but recent guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) indicate that “health IT” as a concept means much more than just EHRs. According to the report, there are three broad categories of health IT:

  • Administrative health IT functions: This includes billing and claims processing, practice and inventory management, and scheduling.
  • Health management IT functions: This category includes health information and data exchange, data capture and encounter documentation, electronic access to clinical results, clinical decision support, knowledge management, and patient identification.
  • Medical device health IT functions: Examples include computer aided detection/diagnostic software, radiation treatment planning, and robotic surgical planning and control software – in other words, devices actively used in medical treatments.

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