2019 Market Outlook: Jeremy Gage of PLEX on AI & Cyber Training

We look forward to the new year and new opportunities for innovation and growth in the government contracting community. This past year, the public and private sectors both experienced more emphasis and demand for cybersecurity, merging technology with health care, and how to best mitigate the insider threat.

As a part of an annual series, 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 in the industry. Topics discussed include M&A activity, public/private sector collaboration, cloud computing migration, the incoming millennial workforce in defense/IT/health care, talent retention and more.

Next in the series is a conversation with Jeremy Gage, director of the Advanced Cyber Solutions Division at PLEX Solutions.

What will 2019 hold for government contracting? More M&A activity, consolidation? IT budget cuts? How is today’s market affecting the way you develop and retain talent?

Specifically, within traditional Defense Department and intelligence community customers, we’ve seen budgets stabilize and increased engagement with industry partners to identify opportunities for investment to expand offensive and defensive cyber capabilities. I believe in 2019, we’ll see continued customer interest to leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence technology advances to speed the development and delivery of solutions and meet their operational requirements. Customers will continue shifting acquisition strategies to focus more on solutions and less on pure staff augmentation.

With regards to M&A, we will likely see continued consolidation, especially within the traditional mid-tier service provider/systems integrator market, but also a pivot in M&A strategies toward solutions-focused providers to better align with shifting customer acquisition trends.

Demand for high-end, software development and engineering skillsets across markets, such as GovCon, commercial, financial and health care, will continue in 2019. Companies investing in employee growth through advanced training, leveraging IR&D to produce new solutions, and agile enough to provide creative incentive compensation plans will be best positioned to attract, develop and retain the technical talent needed to meet increasing customer requirements.

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