WashingtonExec 2015 Market Outlook Series
We look forward to a new year and new opportunities for innovation and growth in the government contracting community. This past year, we experienced an increased emphasis on cybersecurity, the government’s procurement process and a perpetual focus on doing more with less.
WashingtonExec reached out to those most knowledgeable and experienced 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 2015. Topics discussed include M&A activity, cloud computing, privacy issues, data collection, healthcare IT, defense and more.
Sal Fazzolari, Senior Vice President Strategic Development at CRGT Inc., discussed the need for industry and government to come together to address the federal procurement staffing crisis, the next big IT innovation and finding balance among privacy, security and ease of use/access.
WashingtonExec: What will next year hold for government contracting? More M&A activity, consolidation? More IT budget cuts?
Sal Fazzolari: M&A activity will continue at a steady pace. There are too many companies chasing a fewer number of opportunities. Plus, the government’s ongoing procurement staffing crisis continues to slowdown the processes of proposal evaluations, contract awards and mods. Sequestration is still with us, which will force greater application of LPTA pricing evaluations – formal or informal. Companies will struggle to convey their unique skills and strengths to a market that has too many suppliers.
What future collaboration will take place between industry and government in addressing tough issues? Healthcare, defense, big data, mobility, cloud, etc.?
Sal Fazzolari: Industry and government must come together and discuss — no, help address the federal procurement staffing crisis. No one agency has the clout to address this complex problem. Various agencies such as OMB, OPM and GSA have resources that can help resolve this problem. Frankly, industry too has expertise and resources that can help the government develop a long-term solution to this problem, which undermines the stability of our entire industry. Companies seem to be gaming this situation that in the end is hurting all of us.
WashingtonExec: What do you see as the next big IT innovation for the 21st century workforce?
Sal Fazzolari: The emergence of SMAC (social, mobility, analytics and cloud) technology convergence, since 2012, will have a huge impact on the 21st century workforce. IT will become an internal integrator and provide seamless business services to the knowledge workers of the 21st century. The ability to perform work from any device, location, and time of day, in a collaborative framework, with cybersecurity, will be the distinguishing competitive advantage for our industry. Traditional stovepipe functions, departmental structures and information bases are passé.
WashingtonExec: How do you anticipate these technologies being managed to ensure security and privacy?
Sal Fazzolari: In the past and currently, government agencies have focused predominantly on data collection and storage when it came to big data, many organizations have moved on to finally analyze and use the data for intelligence purposes.
WashingtonExec: What are your thoughts on the collection of data through almost everything we do, from frequent shoppers cards to healthcare and education technology, combined with the public’s desire to maintain their privacy? Will the two be able to strike a balance?
Sal Fazzolari: We have a long ways to go to find that balance between privacy, security and ease of use/access. Two-step authentication including use of biometrics must become part of the solution. Too much is at risk for us to allow technology to march full steam ahead of our security and privacy polices/procedures/education, which have not kept up. We seem to be reacting or making the rules up as we go along. This will not be a successful strategy.
WashingtonExec: Where do you see a potential for fusing technologies with modern business practices to better the efficiency of government?
Sal Fazzolari: Agencies that have considered and designed a “citizens services” model for responding to their constituents will lead this charge. Agencies that have a culture with an external orientation focused on their external environment will lead this charge. Agencies that know they will have to provide more services, on-line, with less resources will lead this charge. Agencies have the pieces now – IT systems and platforms, networks, BYOD, cybersecurity frameworks, databases, analytics, cloud services and more but not necessarily an enterprise-wide view how these components will have to be integrated into an 21st century operating paradigm.
WashingtonExec: How would you describe your business strategy during the past 3-5 years, and what is your organization’s plan for growth for next year?
Sal Fazzolari: We have developed expertise and resources that are focused on select accounts and programs. We know where the government market is headed and are ensuring that our service offerings are in sync with this direction. We are not trying to be all things to our potential market base.