Authored by GovWin’s Sean Tucker
What will it take to survive in the federal IT market in fiscal year 2012? The smartest companies are already gameplanning for the new reality.
The 2011 federal budget process was one of the messiest on record. Political battles left the government operating without a true budget for most of the year. A series of Continuing Resolutions, each different than the one before, shifted spending priorities from week to week. Budgets shrank. Enforcement tightened.
And yet, some IT contractors actually grew through the chaos.
The same will happen in 2012. Experts expect to see shrinking budgets, changing priorities and new patterns in acquisition. Positioning your company to grow in 2012 and beyond will require detailed intelligence about the evolving federal market.
INPUT Senior Vice President of Research and Analysis Kevin Plexico says, “Some areas are poised to grow while government spending flattens.”
Plexico and his team of government market analysts, 200-strong, will present their conclusions on the federal IT market Wednesday, June 15 at INPUT’s 9th Annual MarketView Conference in McLean, Virginia. Plexico calls it “a critical event for organizations dependent upon the federal government for IT spending,” promising to “provide the insight and analysis organizations need to effectively plan their approach to the market for the next several years.”
Even those areas where spending is expected to grow – including IT and cyber-security initiatives – will be vastly different playing fields for contractors than they have been in recent years, Plexico says.
Preview slide: The table shows the changing view of where discretionary outlays would be in the future. In the FY10 request, OMB estimated growing discretionary spending. Over time in the FY11 and FY12 requests, the tide turns as OMB shifts its view to declining spending over the next few years.
“We continue to see agencies shift spending to task order and delivery order based contracts as a way for agencies to leverage their acquisition staff, accelerate their purchasing and reduce the cost of acquisition,” he says.
That means fewer, larger contracts. A win may bring more security, but a loss will be even more devastating than it is today. Plexico explains, “We will continue to see protests on major task order programs as these become increasingly ‘must win’ deals for the companies that compete for them. As a result, we are likely to see the length of these contracts expand to reduce the frequency agencies need to compete them.”
Registration is still open. The event will be tomorrow morning.
Sean Tucker covers the federal government and the contracting industry for GovWin.com, the network that helps government contractors win new business every day. He can be reached at [email protected].