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.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.

Featured

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1996, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

  • Shutterstock image.

    Merged IT modernization bill punts on funding

    A House panel approved a new IT modernization bill that appears poised to pass, but key funding questions are left for appropriators.

  • General Frost

    Army wants cyber capability everywhere

    The Army's cyber director said cyber, electronic warfare and information operations must be integrated into warfighters' doctrine and training.

  • Rising Star 2013

    Meet the 2016 Rising Stars

    FCW honors 30 early-career leaders in federal IT.

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

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group