WashingtonExec 2014 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.
Brian Neely is the Chief Information Officer and Chief Technology Officer of AMERICAN SYSTEMS. In his current position, Neely leads the overall vision, planning, and management of all technology and information management-related resources throughout the enterprise. He has been with AMERICAN SYSTEMS since 1996 and has more than 20 years of experience in the industry. This is Neely’s outlook for 2014 and beyond.
Federal contracting continues its shift to a Lowest Price, Technically Acceptable (LPTA) environment and more aggressive pricing. LPTA is a good approach for commodity-based procurements, but is a less-than-ideal approach for achieving innovation with services and product development contracts.
In order to continue progress in 2014, organizations must be able to provide low overhead and an efficient back-office, while still delivering quality services. IT is more important than ever in this type of fiscally constrained environment. For 2014, I am anticipating further reduced back-office and overhead spending, but an increase in IT spending. IT remains the single biggest discriminator, and really the only one that can deliver the efficiencies required to meet the cost-cutting demands. Innovative IT offers a true way to differentiate and reduce costs, immediately; Automation, process-efficiency, work-location independence, intelligence & analytics, decision support systems, and adaptive technologies are key.
We need to truly break ‘the link’ between the user and the device. The data and the services need to be delivered to multiple devices and multiple platforms securely, they should follow the user. BYOD, DaaS, and true identity-based access (with posture assessment) are key, and will also help shift costs from the corporation to the employee, at the same time opening up choice/options for the employee. This is not just from a mobile device perspective, this is also for computing, equipment and possibly even licensing. Efficiencies provided by the cloud are a must. Offerings have become very mature (achieving key certs like FISMA, FedRamp, ITAR, HIPAA, and FIPS), durable, and inexpensive, and the best providers started with security as their foundation and continue as their guiding principle.
CIO’s hanging onto large infrastructure fiefdoms are misguided and will only end up hurting their organizations… substantially! We intend to collapse all of our data centers and provide all services via 3rd party cloud providers over the next 24 months (except classified environments, of course). Between the cloud, BYOD and subscription-based licensing models, IT is becoming a very predictable cost.