2012 is here, and with it comes big changes for the Federal IT industry. WashingtonExec gave local executives the opportunity to share their thoughts on where they see the government contracting industry headed.
Sunny Bajaj, CEO of DMI, gave a historical prospective regarding the future of government contracting. Bajaj believes, “there will be plenty of tough challenges in 2012 – but it will also be a terrific year for innovators.”
Sunny Bajaj: 2012: Tightening U.S. government spending, election year distractions, the European debt crisis, political unrest in the Middle East. How could any of these be good news for Government contracting? Conventional wisdom would say it’s time to hunker down because we’re about to see a race to the bottom in government contract pricing and a myriad of procurement protests ahead of us. I’d like to put a positive spin on the situation and see things a bit differently.
Tough challenges can yield great leaps forward. In the 1940s, executives at Bell Labs realized that demand for phone service was growing so fast, soon a large share of all the electricity generated in the U.S. would be needed just to run telephone switching devices. In response, they started looking for new switches that would consume less power. The result? The transistor. It’s hard to imagine a more transformative device.
The budget challenges that Government agencies will face this year offer forward thinking IT firms similar opportunities to innovate and grow. Many of the technologies are already here. The key is harnessing them to improve performance.
Take mobile computing for example: Smartphones and tablets are cheaper to deploy than traditional PCs, and the new technologies they offer can make remote and mobile staff far more productive. Imagine a field inspector able to automatically tag sites with geo-location information or with video. Coupled with cloud technologies, these solutions can put more information and more processing power into the hands of workers, streamlining decision making and work processes, and leading to far more efficient operations.
Cybersecurity is another area where innovation is enabling government to cut costs while improving performance. Agencies can now replace incredibly costly FISMA and C&A reporting with new continuous monitoring solutions. This not only saves precious IT dollars. It also enhances situational awareness and focuses investment where it belongs – on improving security, not on producing thousands of pages of reports at $1,400 per page.
My prediction? Yes, there will be plenty of tough challenges in 2012 – but it will also be a terrific year for innovators.