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.
Karsun Solutions LLC‘s Chief Innovation Officer Badri Sriraman expects the “Cloud First” strategy to decrease operating costs and increase agility, with agencies also increase their spending on cybersecurity.
Badri Sriraman: As we turn the page on 2014, we look forward to a new year and new opportunities for innovation and growth in the government contracting community. This past year, we saw three trends in government and outside that will have a major influence in the government IT spending in the coming year:
- Firstly, slowly but surely, move to cloud is gaining momentum as a proven cost-saving strategy
- Secondly, all year we saw unprecedented security breaches in biggest of corporations
- Finally, we are seeing a prospect of a big data revolution capture the imagination of IT leaders
Cloud First. We all know the federal government is constantly under pressure to reduce IT spending; last year, we saw that some agencies are making a big push to “Cloud First” strategy to leverage cloud-based services when possible. I think that is going to have a ripple effect across the federal government in 2015 and continue for many years. The first wave will see more agencies adopting “Cloud First” as a proven approach to reducing operating costs; the second wave will see agencies increase their focus on IT automation, enabled by cloud-based technologies, to reduce operating costs even further, while increasing agility to meet mission challenges.
Cybersecurity. Last year, we saw unprecedented security breaches with spectacular attacks striking some of the world’s biggest corporations, such as Sony, Home Depot and JP Morgan Chase. We also saw agencies scurry to respond to “Heartbleed” that had allowed attackers to grab sensitive data from seemingly secure servers without leaving a trace for years.
I believe we have reached a tipping point where despite budget cuts, the agencies will expand spending on cyber security capabilities in 2015. They will seek to build a multi-layered approach to protect resources, not just based on perimeter security. The core to this multi-layered approach will lead to the adoption of analytical tools that will help detect incidents quickly and enable the automation of infrastructure to aid faster response. This will organically modernize IT with technologies that are also core to Cloud and DevOps, starting with their critical business services in 2015.
Big Data. Last year we also saw White House join the chorus that “Big Data is Big Deal.” Agency leaders know they have huge volumes of digital data that can provide opportunities to serve better. This year will see the government looking to seek innovation from the industry, using rapidly maturing Big Data technologies.
Agency leaders understand gaining insight from data is a hard problem, and they can’t do this on their own. In particular, agencies will seek increased insight into their investment and seek effectiveness in decision making around acquisitions, to save tax dollars and eliminate wasteful spending. Companies that are ready to invest in prototypes showing insights that speak the language and context of the customer will be able to educate them better and influence Data2Decisions investments that are bound to grow in next years.
In conclusion, 2015 will see strategic and direction setting initiatives taken by government that will continue to gain momentum and dominate IT spending over many years. Small and large businesses that seek to establish a lean-startup based approach towards innovation and solutions will be able to influence and flourish in the long-term.