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.
Sudhir Verma is the Chief Technology Officer at Force 3 — an I.T. solutions firm headquartered in Crofton, Md — where he leads a team to clarify for customers the fast-paced world of technology. His 2014 market forecast focused on winning contracts and the battle between the ever-shrinking budget and the need to deliver an enhanced end-user experience:
“If you ask a federal CIO, their biggest concerns about 2014 center around budgets continuing to shrink. With less money to spend, CIOs are looking for the maximum return on every dollar they spend. With every IT decision they make, there has to be a direct connection to cost savings and better end user experience.
Public sector IT will continue to see a focus on security, mobility and cloud. Every advancement plays a part in helping to answer the important question of how to deliver an enhanced end user experience with a shrinking budget.
Software-defined data centers and networking will continue to grow. I have a feeling that the way that SaaS has leapt forward quite a bit will change the traditional public sector IT scenario. Instead of federal agencies making large lump sum payments every few years, we are going to move more and more towards the as-a-service model. SDDC technology is going to help us get there.
In terms of winning business during tightened budgets, it is extremely important for government contractors to understand their customers’ challenges. A lot of companies just don’t listen. It is critical for people in our industry to simply listen. Customers might be saying that they don’t need anything. Or, they might be asking for help, looking to create a roadmap to better serve their end users. Contractors have to be asking “where in the roadmap is the customer?” If you don’t have that attitude, then it’s going to be more and more difficult to win business.
That’s where the challenge is. The checkbook is just not as open as it used to be. It is hard for some companies in the industry to admit the change, but you have to look at what you’re offering and what your customers are asking for. Those companies that are adapting to these changes, providing creative solutions and guidance for their customers’ unique problems, are having a lot of success and will continue to in 2014.”