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.

Featured

  • Defense
    Soldiers from the Old Guard test the second iteration of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) capability set during an exercise at Fort Belvoir, VA in Fall 2019. Photo by Courtney Bacon

    IVAS and the future of defense acquisition

    The Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System has been in the works for years, but the potentially multibillion deal could mark a paradigm shift in how the Defense Department buys and leverages technology.

  • Cybersecurity
    Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lora Ratliff)

    Mayorkas announces cyber 'sprints' on ransomware, ICS, workforce

    The Homeland Security secretary announced a series of focused efforts to address issues around ransomware, critical infrastructure and the agency's workforce that will all be launched in the coming weeks.

Stay Connected