2018 Market Outlook: Chris Westphal of DataWalk Inc.

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 big data, insider threat, merging technology with health care, and the internet of things, among others.

WashingtonExec reached out to those most knowledgeable and experienced in the federal contracting space. We asked executives in and around the Beltway for insight on the direction they see the government contracting community heading in 2018. Topics discussed include M&A activity, public/private sector collaboration, cloud computing, the incoming millennial workforce in defense/IT/health care, talent retention and more.​

Chris Westphal, DataWalk

Next in the series is Chris Westphal, chief analytics officer at DataWalk Inc. His goal is to make DataWalk the acknowledged standard in analytical platforms used throughout the user community. Here are his insights:

2018 will continue to deliver epic growth in the analytics marketplace. The sustained surge for using analytics for virtually every aspect of government operations ranging from reducing fraud, waste and abuse to improving mission operations, planning and execution will continue indefinitely. Most agencies are in full acceptance of using analytics and quickly see the tangible returns generated by their efficiencies and insights.

Once a rarity, open-source software gains wider utilization in the GovCon market, primarily delivered embedded in a total-solution thereby saving costs on implementation, development and maintenance. Moreover, it also avoids vendor lock-in of platforms often supported by only a few companies. OSS combined with industry standards along with a Modular Open Systems Approach, service-oriented architectures, or component-based architectures, achieves interoperable, secure and cost-affordable systems.

The competitive landscape for big-data platforms, analytic frameworks and growing tech-base of experienced developers to configure and deploy these technologies gives the government choices they haven’t always had. Technology-enabled self-service is the new norm and option for a new realm of sophisticated solutions in how uniquely they fulfill government mission objectives and satisfy operations.

We’ll also see countless new technology companies enter the GovCon marketplace, mostly startup to mid-size, with very focused and advanced capabilities, many focused on artificial intelligence, machine learning, or entity-based analytics. There’ll be more democratization of data (think www.data.gov) along with many new sources, including social media, health care, cyber and environmental.

Going forward, the marketplace will deliver some astonishing advances as faster computing systems combined with higher density and better resolution sensors are deployed within our day-to-day environments. The real advancement comes from the processes and applications that enable devices to be context-aware, delivering results that are relevant and useful. We’ve only just started — the best is yet to come.


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