Phil Horvitz’s 2013 Outlook: Accelerating What Was Once ‘Too Risky’

Phil Horvitz, URS Federal Services

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.

URS Federal Services CTO Phil Horvitz gave us his prediction for the 2013 Government Contracting Community.

WashingtonExec: What shape will collaboration take between industry and government in addressing tough issues: Healthcare, Defense, Big Data, Mobility, Cloud, etc?

Phil Horvitz: We expect that 2013 will see an acceleration in the adoption of critical applications migrating to the Cloud that were once considered “too risky” to move.  A change in perception of Cloud from something that was mandated by the Federal Government to something that is now desired and beneficial to the agency’s mission is already taking place.  This is coming about in part from increased confidence and trust due to the Government enforcing stringent security standards on Clouds and Cloud providers.

As Government agencies struggle under constrained budgets, we see an increasing value coming from Cloud adoption due to the speed that applications can be deployed and the resulting costs to operate. The increased focus on efficiency will put a premium on innovation that reduces not only infrastructure costs, but also reduces operating, management, and support costs.  Improvements via enhanced automation and rapid deployment strategies are an area that we believe can be further exploited, and can provide significant costs savings in the Cloud-world.

In Healthcare, we believe the move to more of a standards-based Platform as a Service (PaaS) computing model will ultimately lead to proprietary operating environments no longer being sustainable.  In addition, the benefit from new, highly cost-effective, Big Data strategies and next generation analytics tools in order  to identify Healthcare fraud when it occurs (and in realtime), can have a significant impact on overall U.S. Healthcare costs.

We see a need for a more unified approach to Cloud, with Government agencies recognizing that their future operating environment will likely require more than one Cloud and/or one Cloud provider.  The ability to “homogenize” and secure multiple Cloud environments and permit a “single pane of glass” management approach for the agency’s enterprise will be paramount.  The Cloud-broker model is one area that we expect to see increased collaboration between industry and Government.

The rapid convergence among Big Data, Mobility, Cybersecurity, and Cloud will present new challenges and at the same time, yield new opportunities.  With the massive explosion in data volume coupled with increasing and varying sources, the need to effectively manage, mine, share, and extract high quality, actionable information, and do this in a secure way, whether on the desktop or mobile device, will drive the need for not only new technologies, but also drive new policies and governance.  These upcoming challenges will require a highly skilled workforce along with leadership, and collaboration from both industry and Government CIOs.





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