Even with uncertainty still looming for both government contractors and employees, we can still keep up the dialog about the future of government technology and innovation.
According to two recent studies, government agencies will experience a period of considerable transformation as cybersecurity, big data analytics, mobility, social business and cloud solutions influence government IT and communications in 2013. Even without a resolution to the federal budget in place yet, analysts still believe IT investments will continue, especially as consumer use of smartphones, tablets and social media forces the government to keep pace with workers and citizens.
Brad Antle, CEO of Salient Federal Solutions, stated in a January 7 GovWin blog post, “I think they’re [the federal government] going to find a way to provide a much gentler ramp to any kind of spending cuts, and I think [the cuts] will probably be less aggressive.”
The recent IDC Government Insights ”Top 10 Predictions” study found that the rapid adoption by government organizations of the aforementioned growth areas will propel “smart strategies” into 2013. Thom Rubel, Vice President, IDC Government Insights, stated, “I think the big news here is what’s happening with devices and data in government.” Identifying the best practices for device and data use across agencies and municipalities will help them achieve mutual goals. “As they do that, there will be big implications for how and what they buy, as well as the impacts those choices will have on how they interact with, share, analyze, and store information. It will be a changed game,” he said.
Here are the top 10 predictions from the study:
- Prediction 1 – Infrastructure consolidation will hit its peak as governments accelerate cloud adoption by over 50% over 2012 levels, accounting for over 7% of all government IT spending.
- Prediction 2 – Tactical deployments of big data solutions will grow by over 30% CAGR and will accelerate broader pervasive analytics deployment, laying the foundation for “smart government.”
- Prediction 3 – Agencies/organizations/offices will rapidly begin to rationalize and establish baseline costs for IT assets and identify endpoint device choices – PCs, tablets, and smart phones – for “best use.”
- Prediction 4 – Mobile devices and apps, smart sensors, cloud computing solutions, and citizen-facing portals will create a 48% increase in digital information, creating new records management access and retrieval issues.
- Prediction 5 – Cloud sharing/collaboration among governments (federal, state, and local) and shared services will account for 18% of the government cloud market and create new business models for IT procurement and provisioning.
- Prediction 6 – Though they continue to lag behind other industries in investing in social business software, 35% of government organizations will initiate social analytics tools evaluation and/or implementation.
- Prediction 7 – All levels of government will accelerate mobile application development. In 2013, 35% of new federal and state applications will be mobile and 45% of new local applications will be mobile.
- Prediction 8 – Over 40% of U.S. local governments will be in the research and evaluation stage for Smart City pilots/projects and 50% of these will begin some level of implementation in 2013.
- Prediction 9 – Government organizations that promote open data will foster 25% more private commercial activity in apps and services that will facilitate improved outcomes across a range of government goals.
- Prediction 10 – Public/private partnerships will be redefined based on mutual mission goals and outcomes that create mutual government/commercial partnership and research benefits.
We also examined the Lockheed Martin Cyber Security Alliance study, conducted last fall by Market Connections, Inc., which revealed that 85 percent of government technology decision makers at federal, defense and intelligence agencies see cyber security as a high priority, topping big data and cloud solutions.
For many in the government IT sector, these insights are reinforcing what many of us already knew. According to Market Connections’ Government Contractor Study and recent follow-up poll, contractors with higher win rates are seeing more opportunities in cybersecurity and cloud computing, even with looming budget cuts on the horizon.
Longtime government contracting industry veteran and commentator Mark Amtower recently pointed out trends that should not be forgotten in 2013, which include the resurgence of the need for solid, content-driven company websites and the use of social media for enhanced citizen engagement. With respect to social media, he also pointed out that LinkedIn has gone from 50 million members in early 2010 to almost 200 million members to date, with tens of thousands working in the federal sector.
“Now more than ever, contractors need to understand client needs and solution requirements quickly, not through trial and error, so that they can meet those needs in a way that differentiates them from the competition and delivers value to both the customer and the bottom line,” said Lisa Dezzutti, President and CEO of Market Connections, Inc.
Advances in cloud, mobile, big data and cyber security will allow agencies to be more effective and will protect sensitive data and information, and contractors offering solutions in these areas will continue to see opportunities in 2013 and beyond.