It has been an interesting year in the Government IT channel. The Presidential election last Fall leading to a new administration in January, a budget process stuck in continuing resolution mode, rapidly advancing technology and the pressing need for agencies to modernize made the first two quarters of the government fiscal year a bit more tumultuous than normal. With only five months remaining in FY ’17, many want to know what lies ahead.
First, with the recent CR being approved, it looks like government spending will normalize the remaining months of FY ’17 but few know what to expect when new government fiscal year begins 10/1/17. Both political parties continue to be steadfast in their beliefs and it looks like the threats of ‘government shutdowns’ will dominate the news later this summer and heat up in September. It is my wish for the budget process to get back to regular order and Congress pass individual appropriation bills. The ‘omnibus’ process is a disaster and needs reform.
Second, spending for the first two quarters seems to be tracking with FY ’16 based on industry estimates. Most agencies will be funded near or at 2016 levels with the new CR, and spending should be relatively normal for remainder of FY ’17 thus opportunities for new and increased business are available for the IT vendor community.
Third, the Modernizing Government Technology Act (MGT) designed to provide startup funds for agencies to modernize legacy IT systems will be introduced to Congress soon and when enacted will create multiple new business opportunities for IT vendors for many months to come.
Fourth, on page 9 of the Comprehensive Plan for Reforming Government (M-17-22) “Agencies should consider government-wide contracts for common goods and services to save money, avoid wasteful and redundant contracting actions, and free-up acquisition staff to accelerate procurements for high-priority mission work. To the maximum extent practicable, especially for the acquisition of common goods and services, agencies shall use existing contract solutions such as: Federal Supply Schedules; Government-wide acquisition contracts; Multi-agency contracts; and Any other procurement instruments intended for use by multiple agencies, including “Best in Class” (BIC).
What lies ahead is a lot of opportunity for IT vendors with the knowledge, resume, reputation, contract vehicles and relationships in the channel? Mark Amtower, consultant and founder of the Government Market Master continuing professional education program, frequently writes about the importance and growing use of GWACS. He believes GWACS will continue to grow in popularity in FY ’17 and beyond for multiple reasons including (1) the vetting process to win a prime contract spot on the respective vehicles (2) the ease of use for government to use vehicles (3) quick turnaround time. All three of Mark’s points align with initiatives outlined above. With the new administration’s active endorsement for agencies to accelerate procurements using existing contract vehicles, GWACs is where a lot of action will be in QIV this year.
Interested in learning more? Mark Amtower will moderate a panel of Government IT Subject Matter Experts/Industry Leaders to review what’s new and what lies ahead for Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts and IT Contracting for the current and next fiscal year at Digital Government Institute’s 5th annual 930gov Conference & Tradeshow on September 6, 2017 at the Washington Convention Center.
930gov “Where government gathers” is a free, one-day, multi-track training and educational event where 2,000 government IT professionals from multiple technical communities gather to engage, get informed, be inspired and experience a dynamic exhibitor floor full of industry-leading vendors and their respective solutions. Registration is free for Government & Industry.