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.
Next in the series is Leif C Ulstrup, founder of Primehook Technology. His experience spans from general management of very large enterprises to consulting to senior executives faced with critical business and mission transformation challenges. Ulstrup is also an executive-in-residence at American University’s Kogod School of Business. Here are his insights:
2018 will be a pivotal year in leadership. We will see an acceleration of federal government and contractor executive retirements. A new generation with different values, technology skills, and aspirations is ready to take their place.
Most of the ascending leaders entered the management ranks during the post-9/11 budget growth. They saw how the previous generation coped with the post-2011 spending downturn via overhead reduction and consolidation. Many new leaders will approach mission challenges accepting a period of constrained budgets. They will look for “Silicon Valley”-inspired innovation, open systems and agility for answers. They will avoid custom systems and proprietary solutions.
They expect information to be ubiquitous and IT to work on demand. They embrace “as a service” (cloud) approaches to meeting mission needs. They demand that technology is mobile accessible and works at “internet scale.” They expect to be able to do anything via 24×7, self-service. They see platforms as utilities. They want to add their own mission innovation at the edge using APIs, open data and vibrant ecosystems.
2018 will likely be an exciting year as a new generation of leaders, armed with new ideas and tech-savvy, pioneer new approaches to meeting government mission needs. I’m looking forward to it — Happy New Year!