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2022 trends

3D illustration of a blue network with icons and the text zero trust written on the front. Black background. Concept of secured network.

by Jonathan Sanders, Director, Research, GovExec

The telework phenomenon has been a tour de force in culture for over two years now.  We have all done our phishing courses, taken a multi-factor authentication approach to all Apps, and replied to the on again off again phish test emails. Like most of you, I have rolled my eyes at these here and there, balking at the absurdity of these “threats”, but the truth is, we’ve all been duped before. 

The rapid shift of moving the physical working environment into a digital environment, combined with the adoption to telework, creates a litany of new endpoints and vulnerabilities to defend against—requiring a frequent review of our capability to remain ahead of our adversaries. 

Cybersecurity is setting the stage as a government-wide top priority 

Our survey respondents note that 84% of federal employees ranked cybersecurity as a very important to extremely important initiative, and 73% anticipate cybersecurity having a higher or much higher priority than it has today. 72% also report that they are always using two-step authentication in order to better secure their networks, a net positive step to better monitoring government networks.  

We are witnessing first-hand a massive shift in mindset as to how the federal government conducts cyber practices, underpinned by President Biden’s Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity released earlier this year. Among many additions, the executive order calls for the modernization and implementation of stronger cybersecurity standards across the federal government for information and operational technology. From cloud services to zero-trust architecture, federal agencies will continue to research methodologies and tools to meet the ever-evolving cyber battlefield.

Zero trust is gaining traction – FAST 

A dispersed workforce has tested traditional perimeter security during the pandemic. As a result, the zero trust model is quickly emerging as a top cybersecurity focus across the federal government. 

A GBC survey found that 75% of government employees think that zero trust is very or extremely important to their cybersecurity strategy. This indicates that not only is there widespread visibility, but also a large interest in zero trust in strategy setting moving forward. The importance of zero trust—combined with findings mentioned earlier that federal government employees believe they will be working remotely more frequently—indicates that zero trust will provide more value than ever before for the modern government workforce. 

Whether a reprioritization of a familiar task like data management and cybersecurity, or the integration of emerging trends like widespread telework or zero trust architectures, it is safe to say the trends of 2022 will go on to shape government markets for years to come.

Click here to see part one of this three part series.

Click here to see part two of this three part series.

by Jonathan Sanders, Director, Research, GovExec

It should come as no surprise that refining data management was at the top of our technology trends to track for 2022. Over the past decade, the way that the Federal Government, Department of Defense, and even State & Local Government collect, analyze, and disseminate data has grown in complexity in a way that leadership may not have first thought possible. 

The ever-evolving nature of data management technologies is a constant that the Federal Government is equipped to face in its goal to better serve the American people. There is however, a massive paradigm shift underway that could forever change the where of where data management work is done: telework.

Telework continues to bring value to the government workforce

With the pandemic, telework has grown out of its infancy phase and aims to play a large role in the shape & face of those in, and those outside supporting, the Federal Government’s mission.  

We’re seeing a cultural shift in real time that could have long-lasting effects on government work policies for decades to come. A whopping 82% of federal employee respondents from a GBC survey note their belief that they will telework three days or more per week in the future, bucking a century-long trend of going into the office to work for the federal government. 

GBC also found that 47% of public sector employees say remote work has, and will continue to have, a positive impact on their ability to conduct operations—a trend that GBC believes will continue to grow as the federal workforce continues to telework. 

As the coronavirus continues to mutate and create new variants, we can expect to see increased pushbacks in return to office timelines and utilization of telework across the federal government. Now is the time to take advantage of the information gained from teleworking to better understand what federal agencies need for teleworking tools moving forward. The telework trend is here to stay.

Click here to see part one of this three part series.

by Jonathan Sanders, Director, Research, GovExec

Over the course of the last two years, business as usual for the federal government has been anything but. With the introduction of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020—and the subsequent race to integrate key methodologies to better navigate the accelerated digital environment in 2021—2022 has left critical agencies throughout the federal government with the same key question: what’s next? 

Amidst these transformative changes, GovExec’s research division, the Insights & Research Group has spent countless hours digging into the “what’s next” to bridge the insights gap between government contractors and government buyers. The combination of the IRG’s far-reaching database and expert insight and research capabilities provide a unique capability to those not just looking to conduct business with the government, but to those who wish to stay ahead of the curve. 

The way the entire government ecosystem works, connects, markets, and sells has permanently changed. Whereas a hunch may have been the deciding factor to expand into a new business venture, those decisions must now lay in the groundwork of expert research and insights to remain engaged with the right buyers at the right time. Join us as we dig into some of the top trends shaping the Federal technology landscape across our three part blog series. 

Refining data management is key to overall mission success.

As a result of  the coronavirus pandemic, organizations are increasingly realizing the vitality of effective data management, particularly organizations that have been placed under significant stress as a result of the pandemic. In one of GBC’s fielded surveys, we found that organizations with very good or exceptional data efficiency were 11 times more likely to have adapted well to the pandemic compared to those with poor or fair data efficiency. In that same survey, 70% of respondents indicated that improved data efficiency would enhance their agency’s ability to adapt in future crises. 

Although agencies across the federal government have been working on refining data management processes for decades, there is much to improve upon—a major point that GBC research found consistently highlighted across the on-going pandemic. For example, in a recent survey, a staggering 97% reported being inconvenienced and slowed down when searching for critical data, and 96% highlighted insufficient data as a major contributor to delays in decision-making. 

With an increasingly large emphasis placed on data-driven decision making across the federal government, its agencies, and even the DoD, government contractors and buyers should review current data management strategies and methodologies to equip leaders with the proper tools to make rapid and data-informed decisions. 


Read Part 2, or Part 3 of this series.

Information is Key Throughout the Federal Buyer Journey