George D. Schindler’s 2013 Outlook: Uncertain and Unpredictable, But Great Opportunity

George D. Schindler, CGI

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.

George D. Schindler, President of CGI U.S., CGI Group, Inc., spoke with us about his predictions for what 2013 has in store.

“Over the past year, the phrase ‘uncertain and unpredictable’ became synonymous with the federal government market for the first time in decades. From evolving missions and new regulations to emerging technologies and budget reductions, it was a year marked by significant change. So, what does this mean as we look ahead to 2013? We expect that uncertainty and unpredictability will continue for the foreseeable future and that the pace of change will accelerate as budget reductions take effect and the Administration and Congress work to address the country’s economic concerns. While the challenges for succeeding in this kind of environment are real for both government and industry, we believe the opportunities are great for re-shaping how government operates.

Technology will enable efficiency and progress

Mandates to do more, faster—but with fewer resources—can be met by better harnessing technology. Cloud is a clear example for how federal agencies are smartly using technology to be more efficient, agile, and secure. Government’s adoption of cloud has moved relatively quickly over the past few years and has introduced changes in how agencies think about, procure, and implement technology. In the cloud work CGI is doing with agencies, we see that business and mission requirements are driving how the technology is applied as opposed to simply complying with a mandate. This approach is critical to realizing the efficiencies needed in the short-term while creating a platform for longer-term innovation. As we look ahead, we expect data analytics, cybersecurity, and mobile to continue to round out the next important wave of enabling technologies.

Challenging times can create renewed focus

Given government budget pressures, competition will continue to increase in the already-competitive technology and professional services market. Despite the fact that the U.S. government remains the world’s largest technology buyer, it will be harder for companies to remain relevant, innovative, and profitable. As a result, consolidation and portfolio diversification will increase, with more firms focused on strengthening their core businesses and expanding into promising growth markets, including healthcare and intelligence. At CGI, our legacy of portfolio diversification, including commercial and international, has served us well both in times of strength and when any given industry or geography is facing challenges. It has enabled us to adjust investments and retain resources, ensuring we continually deliver value to clients where and when they need us most. For federal agencies, these industry efforts should generate more targeted solutions from which to choose. As this occurs, it will be increasingly important for agencies and industry to closely collaborate in order to understand and articulate requirements to ensure the right solutions are employed to achieve the desired results.

Fundamentally, the challenging environment of 2013 will require federal agencies and those of us in industry to possess both the ability and willingness to change how we work together to accomplish the mission of government.”

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