Around Town

Looking ahead in procurement can pay dividends for agencies

transferring funds

Where: Amazon Web Services Government, Education and Nonprofits Symposium, Washington, D.C.

Who: David Taylor, CEO at Capitol Solutions, a lobbying firm specializing in federal IT

Why: Tough budget climates in recent years have limited federal agencies' ability to spend on solutions for future programs, while also wreaking havoc on the federal IT contracting community's bottom lines. And IT acquisition itself has been in the spotlight because of large IT projects that failed to deliver promised results or missed their deadline.

According to Capitol Solutions' David Taylor, however, there is now an upside. 

The focus on HealthCare.gov, Veterans Affairs Department scheduling and other problem projects provide a real opportunity for technology and cloud providers to advocate for spend in these areas, he said.  Transitioning to cloud services is a mechanism for agencies to manage future costs, which can save money long term.

“Technology companies and cloud providers have a value proposition, and that’s going to become a more important part of the sales pitch for agencies and Congress when they approve appropriations moving forward,” Taylor said.

Moreover, Taylor said, the cost of maintaining current services has great potential for savings if agencies are now able to plan ahead more effectively. Non-defense agencies, he pointed out, spend $224 billion more than the budget caps allow for, while defense agencies are over by $103 billion -- though both numbers are starting to trend downward.

“Agencies haven’t had the flexibility to spend money on things, and do practical, smart management because they’ve been living in this uncertain budget world,” Taylor said.

About the Author

Colby Hochmuth is a former staff writer for FCW.

The 2015 Federal 100

Meet 100 women and men who are doing great things in federal IT.

Featured

  • Shutterstock image (by venimo): e-learning concept image, digital content and online webinar icons.

    Can MOOCs make the grade for federal training?

    Massive open online courses can offer specialized IT instruction on a flexible schedule and on the cheap. That may not always mesh with government's preference for structure and certification, however.

  • Shutterstock image (by edel): graduation cap and diploma.

    Cybersecurity: 6 schools with the right stuff

    The federal government craves more cybersecurity professionals. These six schools are helping meet that demand.

  • Rick Holgate

    Holgate to depart ATF

    Former ACT president will take a job with Gartner, follow his spouse to Vienna, Austria.

  • Are VA techies slacking off on Yammer?

    A new IG report cites security and productivity concerns associated with employees' use of the popular online collaboration tool.

  • Shutterstock image: digital fingerprint, cyber crime.

    Exclusive: The OPM breach details you haven't seen

    An official timeline of the Office of Personnel Management breach obtained by FCW pinpoints the hackers’ calibrated extraction of data, and the government's step-by-step response.

  • Stephen Warren

    Deputy CIO Warren exits VA

    The onetime acting CIO at Veterans Affairs will be taking over CIO duties at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

  • Shutterstock image: monitoring factors of healthcare.

    DOD awards massive health records contract

    Leidos, Accenture and Cerner pull off an unexpected win of the multi-billion-dollar Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization contract, beating out the presumptive health-records leader.

  • Sweating the OPM data breach -- Illustration by Dragutin Cvijanovic

    Sweating the stolen data

    Millions of background-check records were compromised, OPM now says. Here's the jaw-dropping range of personal data that was exposed.

  • FCW magazine

    Let's talk about Alliant 2

    The General Services Administration is going to great lengths to gather feedback on its IT services GWAC. Will it make for a better acquisition vehicle?

Reader comments

Wed, Jun 25, 2014 David Taylor Washington, DC

Colby, Thanks for the article. I'd like to clarify a point made during my presentation. While spending caps are now rising, they fall short of the totals needed to maintain current services through FY19. For the Defense Department, that gap is $103 billion. For non-defesne agencies, the gap is $224 billion.

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above