2014 – WashingtonExec Annual Market Outlook Series
As we turn the page on 2013, we look forward to a new year and new opportunities for innovation and growth in the government contracting community. This past year we experienced budget sequestration, a 16-day-long government shutdown, and a perpetually increasing focus on cyber security and healthcare IT.
WashingtonExec reached out to those most knowledgeable and experienced individuals in the federal contracting space. We asked executives in and around the beltway for insight regarding where they see the government contracting community headed in 2014. Topics discussed include M&A activity, cloud computing, healthcare IT, defense, mobility, and more.
Dr. John Hillen, recently named executive in residence and professor of practice for George Mason University’s (GMU) the School of Management and Vice Chairman of Sotera Defense Solutions.
I think work in and around intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance will be important because of the physical decrease in U.S. forces deployed overseas, especially with the pull back of troops from Afghanistan and the pivot to Asia. The United States’ ability to collect data, move it securely, organize it, quickly analyze it and then act upon it is going to be more critical than ever.
I think companies involved with that entire process are going to continue to have good work to do. The technology is advancing very rapidly. We all talk about Big Data and data analytics that are at the backend of that process but no matter what buzzword you use, the bottom line is that the sustainable competitive advantage in intelligence work and warfare is centered on how you use organize and use the massive amounts of data you have. This will continue to be a “hot area.”
Cyber is a piece of that data decision cycle, and an important one. I think we’re all well aware of the criticality of cyber security, but cyber as an arena for intelligence gathering as well as offensive options for our government is highly specialized and will continue to be a growing mission area with dynamic changes in technological capability. I also think telecommunications in a cyber, signals intelligence, and electronic warfare saturated environment will be a very important technological field. Outside of the defense and intel space, it strikes me that given our policy challenges, many things in and around healthcare and healthcare records & management are going to be pretty important.