Agencies are eliminating contractors to save their own employees. At last week’s State & Local IT Market Forecast for 2011-2016 webinar, Chris Dixon, Deltek Manager of State and Local Industry Analysis, encouraged contractors to “look for ways to help agencies understand the value of their contractors and the unique skills you provide.”
If your unique skills lie in certain areas, this argument may be particularly effective. Here are some skill sets state and local governments are likely to need:
- Tools to eliminate fraud, waste or abuse
- Anything in the area or regulatory reform and accountability
- Supervision and rehabilitation of nonviolent offenders released from overcrowded prisons
- Methods of getting more productivity out of higher education
IT Lifecycle Opportunities Still Out There
On the tech front, Dixon warned contractors to expect mostly steady-state spending on information technology (IT) through 2013, as state governments resize their outlays to their revenue.
Though many states are simply maintaining, rather than expanding their IT assets, these systems are reaching the end of their lifecycles. “Expect to see more states coming to the open market for these needs,” Dixon said.
Dixon also shared some other areas in which state and local governments may soon need IT contractors. For example, projected U.S. population trends show a higher percentage of people under age 18 and over age 65, creating unique IT concerns due to fewer people remaining in the workforce.
Mobile and remote applications may also play an increased role at the state and local level. Though state employees are usually located on the state government campus, local government employees — from teachers to trash collectors — are spread out and may not ever step foot in the local center of government.
Overall, the software product category was by far the fastest growing, with a 5.1 percent five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Communications and network services, computer equipment, outsourcing and professional services ranged from 1.9 percent to 2.7percent CAGR.
States Still Spending
Still, he said, contractors should be cautiously optimistic. Though states are not spending at previous rates, they are still spending, particularly on forced improvements caused by aging equipment and streamlining and transparency solutions initiated by incoming governors.
Take a Closer Look
Deltek’s State & Local IT Market Forecast, 2011-2016 dives into details on trends in the state and local IT market and focuses on trends related to technology, acquisition processes and regulations that will shape the size and direction of this marketplace.
Lindley Ashline is the Web editor at GovWin.com, the network that helps government contractors win new business every day. She can be reached at [email protected], or you can follow her on Twitter @lindleyashline.