3 Questions Every COTS Vendor Should Ask in Preparation for FY16

End of FY15_CWChris Wiedemann_65 x 85by Chris Wiedemann, Senior Analyst

It’s the last couple days of the 2015 government fiscal year, which to most of us means only one thing: closing year-end business. Selling COTS products to the government can get pretty hectic around this time of year, so you’d be forgiven for overlooking a salient and somewhat worrying fact: we still have no agency funding for FY16.

With exactly 2 days left of FY15 (and counting) the only existing Continuing Resolution (CR) flat lined in the Senate, although Congress does appear poised to pass a clean CR which has a good chance of making it to the President’s desk. Still, they are dealing with a very tight deadline and we might be in for another brief government shutdown before Congress can put a short-term CR in place.

The good news is, we’ve been here before. The beginning of FY14 became famous for its 16-day government shutdown. While it was painful for both the government and its industry partners, COTS manufacturers made a rebound, showing strong results at the end of the fiscal year. In the event of another shutdown, the best advice we can give to the COTS community is “hold tight.” While having most of your customers furloughed to begin a fiscal year isn’t ideal — and the impacts of a shutdown on the larger economy are significant COTS vendors will likely emerge more or less unscathed. All that being said, there are still important questions that need to be answered and issues that need to be addressed as we enter FY16’s uncertain beginning. Read more of this post

The Rundown on DOD’s Cyber, Cloud, and Big Data Priorities Part II

Lloyd McCoy Jr.by Lloyd McCoy Jr., Consultant

Last week I went over some of the latest
The Rundown on DOD’s Cyber, Cloud, and Big Data Priorities cybersecurity and cloud initiatives out of DOD’s Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM), from a recent AFCEA event I attended. While the event was focused primarily on how each department is aiming to expand their cyber and cloud capabilities, leveraging big data and analytics was a topic of discussion as well. On that note, I’d like to share with you DOD’s big data and analytics top priorities that came straight from program managers.

Below I’ve highlighted areas where DISA and CYBERCOM are looking to expand their capabilities in Big Data and Analytics

Read more of this post

The Rundown on DOD’s Cyber, Cloud, and Big Data Priorities

Lloyd McCoy Jr.by Lloyd McCoy Jr., Consultant

I recently The Rundown on DOD’s Cyber, Cloud, and Big Data Priorities attended a multi-day AFCEA event highlighting the latest cybersecurity initiatives within the Department of Defense, primarily the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and the U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM). While the conference was mostly focused on cybersecurity, government speakers also spoke openly about what they’re doing in the areas of cloud and big data and analytics. Additionally, this event served as one of the last industry engagements for the Director of DISA, Lt. Gen. Ronnie Hawkins, who will be replaced by Deputy Director, Alan Lynn in late July.

Below I’ve highlighted areas where DISA and CYBERCOM are looking to expand their capabilities in cybersecurity and cloud.

Read more of this post

FAA Shifting Focus to Cyber

Kevin Shaker_65 x 85by Kevin Shaker, Analyst, Market Intelligence

We’ve seenLock on computer chip an increase in demand for big data and analytics products due to continued developments in NextGen at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which I covered in my last blog post. However, after a recent breech in FAA’s IT security and an audit from the GAO, the administration has made acquisition of information assurance and threat & vulnerability management products a high priority.

This February the agency found malware on an administrative computer system. Forensic analysts believe the attack occurred via email. FAA responded by issuing a sole source RFP for Cyber Security Management Center support services to SRA International, which does most of the administration’s securing of data. The discovery of malware in an FAA system shows a critical need for increased cybersecurity services and products — as an attack could quite possibly lead to a plane’s inability to function, jeopardizing public safety.

Read more of this post

Spending Increases at Commerce to Drum-Up Opportunity for COTS Vendors

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

Although Learn More About the Department of Commercethe agency often flies under the radar, the Department of Commerce (DOC) has one of the largest IT budgets in the civilian space and we’re seeing it continue to increase.  Moreover, the department is seeing dramatic annual increases in its Development, Modernization, and Enhancement (DME) budgets, which is both rare and a great sign for the COTS community. Between complete overhauls of patent and trademark systems, building out infrastructures to support the 2020 Census, and even supercomputing to support weather prediction and analytics, the mission areas and opportunities for COTS vendors are broad and deep.

Read more of this post

3 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About DHS’s Full-year Funding Bill

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

My colleague, Tomas O’KeefeDHS did a great job last Tuesday breaking down the major challenges and requirements facing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the upcoming year, but there was one area he mentioned during his Webinar on DHS Sales Opportunities I want to explore more: the current status of FY15 funding for the department.

As Tom mentioned in the Webinar — as well as his recent blog post — DHS is the only department not currently operating under full year funding for FY15 – instead, the “cromnibus” bill that passed in December included a Continuing Resolution (CR), funding them at FY14 levels through February 27th. This means there’s still a possibility for DHS to run into a shutdown when short-term funding expires; however, there’s reason to hope it won’t come to that. The House already passed a full-year DHS funding bill on January 14th. It should be no secret that full-year funding bills can significantly impact COTS sales at any agency.

Let’s take a look at three highlights from the House’s DHS full-year funding bill:

Read more of this post

6 Ways FITARA Could Make a Dramatic Impact on COTS Sales

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

On FridayUS Capital Building of last week, among all the furor around the FY15 “cromnibus” passing, another long-awaited bill passed; the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) made it through both the House and Senate as part of the FY15 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). All indications point to FITARA becoming law shortly.

Here are 6 ways FITARA could dramatically impact sales in the COTS community:

Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: