WashingtonExec 2013 Government Contracting Outlook Series:
The new year brings big changes for the Federal IT industry, and WashingtonExec is back with its Government Contracting Industry Outlook Series.
We are giving local executives the opportunity to share their thoughts on where they see our industry headed this year and beyond. Leaders were asked a series of questions focused on cloud computing, healthcare IT, defense, mobility, and more.
“We recently reviewed and updated our assessments on all the IT megatrends we track at CTOvision.com, and dove deep into the hot topics of our reporting over the last year, including our research into Big Data, Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, Analytical Tools (especially Model Enabled Analysis) and issues of mobility (especially Mobile Risk Management).
We were struck at how so many of these subject areas seemed to be following a path described by Marc Andreessen in his August 2011 essay on “Why Software Is Eating The World.”
The government contracting world has been under pressure because of these forces for quite some time. Some firms have begun adjusting and are seeing tremendous growth because of their newly focused strategy (with Carahsoft being one of the most virtuous examples). Many smaller, more agile firms have also arose riding the wave of this trend and are seeking to accelerate it in service to government missions. For others, it is not too late to adjust, but the key to changing will be to recognize that this trend is real and that your resistance may be futile.
The trend of software eating traditional industries makes it easier for end users to accomplish their mission by use of transformational IT (which could be software run internally or delivered as a service). “So what is new?” you may ask. The government and its contracting force has long been participating in the IT revolution, so is anything really going to be different?
Two major accelerants will hit the industry in 2013. First is the unprecedented downward pressures on budgets (as many have said “We have run out of money; now we have to think”). When you have less money but critically important missions to accomplish you turn to innovation out of necessity and this should be a major driver of new software based approaches. The other major accelerant is the state of consumerization of IT and the commoditization of powerful software capabilities. With advanced IT being delivered at global scale the cost of powerful capabilities has dropped significantly, making the benefits of software (including cloud delivered services) very compelling.
This combination of incredibly compelling capabilities plus significant budget pressures will definitely make this a year of change in the government contracting space. As software eats our world we will all have some decisions to make. If you want to stay mission focused, do you want to be on the side of the eater or the eaten?”
WashingtonExec also caught up with Gourley earlier last year: Bob Gourley on the Ethics, Analytics and Future of Big Data.