2014 Market Outlook: David Zolet of CSC is Optimistic of Procurement Environment, Expects Continued Pressure on IT Budgets

David Zolet, CSC

David Zolet, CSC

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.

David Zolet is the Executive Vice President and General Manager of CSC, a global information technology (IT) services and solutions company:

Looking forward to 2014.

We are optimistic for a better procurement environment in 2014. The bipartisan budget plan for 2014 brings a level of certainty that we didn’t have in 2013.  We anticipate clients will have the budget clarity they need to push programs forward.  They’ll re-engage in their internal business cycle for investments, business case development and budget planning, which should result in more reliable and consistent RFPs and better information about the timing of the award cycle.  As contractors, we’ll have better insights into our customers’ mission requirements and the opportunity to use next generation technologies as a force multiplier to do more with less.

Mergers & Acquisitions Activity and IT Budget Cuts.

Recent evidence reflects that public sector companies are carefully restructuring portfolios to focus on their core businesses.  In 2013, CSC divested its applied technologies business to focus on our core business of next-generation technologies.  We expect this type of activity to occur and will continue to monitor the market.

We expect continued pressure on the IT budget, but the underlying story is less about reductions and more about the shift to lower cost approaches through data center consolidation and hybrid cloud architectures and solutions, which are substantially more cost effective.  The next stage is to modernize the government infrastructure with next-generation hybrid cloud technologies.  CSC is uniquely positioned to do this through recent acquisitions and a strategic cloud partnership ecosystem.  In the long term, our goal is to help government progress toward an increased shared services environment for IT, within and across agencies.

Collaboration Between Industry and Government.

There are two primary criteria for shaping collaboration: (1) identifying with the mission and (2) having the technical expertise to deliver on it.  For example, an IT company with mission knowledge and strong technical skills can deliver solutions the Warfighter needs to be successful.  The combination of deep mission knowledge and a strong skill set turns a transaction into a collaborative partnership.

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