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.
Vishwas Lele is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Applied Information Sciences (AIS), a privately held, technical services company headquartered in Reston, Virginia.
It has been three years since Vivek Kundra, the first Federal CIO, first outlined the cloud-first strategy. While the current CIO, Steven VanRoekel and his team have continued to work with the agencies to find cost savings by moving workloads to the cloud, hard metrics are difficult to come by. But this is likely to change in 2014. Here is why:
- Public cloud providers including AWS and Windows Azure have achieved FedRAMP certification, allowing them to host government data from various agencies.
- Getting started with the public cloud providers has never been easier because of the maturity and breadth of the offerings (combination of PaaS and IaaS) and an increased focus on ease of use through automation (API for every aspect of IT).
- Arrival of technologies such as WAP (Windows Azure Pack) that can bring an Azure-like environment to an on-premises data center or data centers maintained by hosting companies.
- The pace of innovation and economies of scale are resulting in steady reduction in prices.
- If there is one defining characteristic of the public cloud, it is the transparency of the IT spending including detailed breakdown of usage in terms of CPU, memory, bandwidth, storage etc. Hopefully CIO’s office will encourage agencies to make their cloud usage data publicly available in order to not only allow track their progress but also allow federal contractors insights into the kinds of workloads being (planned)moved to the cloud.