March 30, 2012 CIO, Steven VanRoekel, issued a memorandum for the heads of Executive Departments and Agencies explaining the new goals for Federal government IT investments. The Shared First initiative is centered on achieving the highest level of efficiency for each of the 26 agencies. Each agency submitted a plan to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) detailing key milestones in the process of meeting new requirements. The trend across agency plans was modernization of legacy systems and developing evaluation procedures for each investment area.
Andrew McMahon, Senior Advisor at OMB explained that the main focus for agencies is the transition to cloud infrastructure and eliminating duplication. One method to achieve these goals is to move towards a centralized purchasing platform. An excellent example of the consolidation of contract vehicles is the OASIS (One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services) platform.
GSA’s OASIS and NASA’s SEWP contracts are innovative purchasing vehicles with a goal of making it easier for agencies to purchase full solutions. Essentially, these contracts will host a wide array of products and services allowing agencies to purchase everything off a single contract instead of wasting resources on multiple contracts. Innovation in contracting is helping agencies achieve Shared First cost savings requirements.
This is an area contractors should focus on in FY2013. Now more than ever, small businesses are welcomed on to these contract vehicles as subcontractors and are seeing huge opportunities to pair with giants like Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. Last year roughly 48% of SEWP spending went through small business concerns.
PortfolioStat is the tool agencies are using to assess the maturity of their IT portfolio management process. The focus is on eliminating duplication and using shared solutions in order to maximize the return on IT investments. One mandate is for agencies to migrate at least two commodity IT services by December 31, 2012. Although this deadline is fast approaching, contractors should expect Federal agencies to continue the migration process through to early spring.
Many agencies like GSA are making headway with the Shared First initiative and have already begun cost saving plans, but there is still a huge opportunity for contractors to help agencies implement PortfolioStat and revamp Federal IT portfolios.