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State budget overview: Critical information on priorities and funding for vendors

As spring progresses, news from most states is centered on legislative actions (some controversial) passed before the annual sine die adjournment of the state legislature. With that backdrop, many state legislatures will approve budgets for the coming fiscal year or biennium. Beyond the headlines about the growth of government and funding cuts to pet projects, or the spin promulgated by lawmakers’ press releases and governor budget addresses, vendors can find essential information on state priorities.

A state’s budget and how it passed into law is important information for a vendor to have when deciding in which states or localities to compete for business. For most states, the budget process follows the same approval path by the full legislature and the governor’s signature. The first step in this process generally comes from the state agencies themselves. In most cases, these agencies report to the governor as part of the executive branch. The agencies conduct their own planning and budgeting process and submit a request to the governor’s budget team or office. The governor and his or her team then decide which priorities and funding to include and compile a document of the governor’s recommendations for submittal to the state legislature.

At Deltek, we spend quite a bit of time compiling and analyzing the state governors’ recommended budgets. The budgets, along with other compiled data,  are contained in Deltek’s State Government Profiles. The profiles provide essential and in-depth reference and research on state budgets, procurement, and organizational details to assist contractors in building important state buyer relationships and quickly ramping up new government sales professionals.

A governor’s proposed budget is by no means the final budget that makes it out of a state legislature, though it provides valuable insight about the executive priorities and the fiscal condition of the state. These documents also provide us with historical expenditure data, which allows for a more in-depth analysis of budget trends and fiscal realities. 

Following the governor’s lead, the state legislature begins work on their own version of the budget. Sometimes they use the governor’s recommendations as a starting point, but this is not always the case in adversarial political environments. Both houses of the legislature (for every state but Nebraska) weigh in on the budget as it goes through the normal process of committee and floor votes, and then conference committees work to reconcile any differences. The legislature submits the budget to the governor and he or she decides to approve it or not.  

For vendors, both the governor’s proposed budget and the final version are important documents. They can help to understand both the priorities of an administration and the reality of the political system and/or fiscal climate. Of course, they also offer insight into exactly where state funding is flowing and which departments will be looking for vendor support. 

In the coming months, look for the compilation of state budget data, including IT line items and detailed Deltek analysis of this data. In addition, vendors in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) space should watch for more budget data specific to state investment in AEC as outlined in state capital budgets.

You can learn more about state budgets in Deltek’s State Government Profiles. Not a Deltek subscriber? Click here to learn more about Deltek's GovWin IQ service and gain access to a free trial

 

Half-way Through FY 2015, How Much Are Agencies Spending on Contracts?

It’s April, and that means we are half way through fiscal year (FY) 2015. So I thought I would take a look at the available federal contracting data to see what can we tell so far about how much federal departments have spent on contracts at the mid-point in the year and see what might be in store for us in the second half of FY 2015.

For comparison and context I looked the federal contract obligations reported for each federal agency for FY 2014, quarter by quarter, and then the first two fiscal quarters of FY 2015, which just closed at the end of March. Then, to get what I thought would be a conservative approach to estimating what spending might look like for the remainder of FY 2015 I took 90% of each agency’s total FY 2014 contract spending and subtracted out what agencies have already reported for actual Q1 and Q2 contract spending. In other words, my assumption is that agencies would spend at least 90% of what they did last year. Finally, based on this 90% spending assumption I calculated each agency’s FY 2015 Q1 and Q2 relative percentages of total (90%) estimated obligations.

Contract Obligations Compared

Historically, the twenty top-spending departments accounted for about 98% of all federal contract obligations, so I focused my attention on these departments. In FY 2014, these accounted for $85.9B and $105.2B in total contract obligations for Q1 and Q2 respectively. For comparison, these departments reported $104.7B and $141.7B in contract obligations for Q3 and Q4 respectively for FY 2014. (See table below.)

In FY 2015, these top twenty have reported $89.3B and $34.1B for Q1 and Q2 respectively, although DoD lags in their financial reporting by up to 90 days so Q2 is understated. Still, if these top agencies spend 90% of what they did in all of FY 2014 they will have more than $270B left to obligate in the remaining two quarters of this fiscal year.


Observations

  • A handful of departments have Q1 FY 2015 obligations lower than they did in Q1 of FY 2014 (DoD, USAF, State, DoT, Ed, and Labor). Most have marginally higher obligations year-over-year, although Navy reported over $6B (+40%) more in obligations in Q1 in FY 2015 than last year.
  • More departments appear to be lagging in Q2 FY 2015 compared to Q2 of last year and some of these are fairly large relative proportions. For example, HHS shows a $1B (-24%) decrease in Q2. Similarly, VA has reported a $1.1B (-30%) decrease. Finally, State, GSA, and DOT each have reported about a 50% drop in Q2 FY 2015 obligations from Q2 FY 2014. Of course, given the DoD’s three-month reporting delay we will not know the contracting rates among those departments until this summer.
  • Taken together, the four defense branches in Q1 FY 2015 have reported $3B more in obligations than they reported in Q1 of FY 2014, although the DoD and Air Force have reported lower levels year-over-year.  

A graphical representation of the relative proportions of each department’s contract spending gives a sense of seasonality and/or changes from year to year. Due to the sheer number of departments I have split these into Defense and Civilian segments. This further highlights the yearly changes for Navy, HHS, VA, State, GSA, and DOT. (See charts below.)


 


 

This kind of macro-level analysis is useful in getting a general sense of quarterly and yearly patterns across the departments. Of course, the remaining FY 2015 obligation estimation depends on its main 90% assumption. Last year, this approach pointed to roughly $285B in combined FY 2014 Q3 and Q4 obligations among the top twenty departments. A year later, the final FY 2014 Q3 and Q4 data shows that actual obligations came in at $246.4B, so at first glance it appears that my 90% assumption was a bit optimistic. However, the difference turns out to be a matter of timing rather than magnitude. The final FY 2014 Q1 and Q2 obligations given above come in at $69B higher than what agencies reported at this time last year, reflecting revisions due to lagging obligation data being added later in the year. So the numbers effectively washed out once the dust settled. Unfortunately, there is no reliable way of predicting how consistently agencies will report their contract spending from year to year.

As most federal business development people will attest, understanding your agency’s spending patterns goes a long way to being able to successfully work with them to get contracts awarded as well as develop your yearly business plan. 

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Originally published for Federal Industry Analysis: Analysts Perspectives Blog. Stay ahead of the competition by discovering more about GovWin FIA. Follow me on Twitter @GovWinSlye.

 

State infrastructure priorities: Where do states want to invest?

Deltek’s Industry Analysis team published its annual State of States report last month, which analyzes each governor’s state-of-the-state speech for key projects anticipated in the year to come. Thirty-three governors mentioned major architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) projects in their addresses. Below is a list of several high-value AEC projects states are focusing on in 2015.  

Water/Energy projects – $13 billion estimated value

  • Alaska Governor Bill Walker (Independent) announced his administration will begin building the Alaska gas line to Tidewater, at an estimated cost of $10 billion.
  • California Governor Jerry Brown (D) announced his administration will invest in long-overdue water projects, saving $2.8 billion in the state's new rainy-day fund.
  • Montana Governor Steve Bullock (D) asked for support for his infrastructure plan, The Build Montana Act, which would invest more than $300 million into bridges, water and sewer systems, schools and roads.

Roads – $4.7 billion estimated value

  • Texas Governor Gregg Abbott (R) added more than $4 billion a year to the state’s budget to build more roads in Texas.
  • Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R) called for an additional $300 million in funding for roads to allow cities and towns new resources to plan regional growth strategies.
  • Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval (R) called for a $250 million investment in Project NEON to improve Southern Nevada’s I-15, reduce congestion, and create construction jobs.
  • New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez (R) proposed at least $180 million of infrastructure money over the next three years for major highway construction projects across New Mexico.

Building/School Revitalization - $1.8 billion estimated value

  • North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory (R) will submit to the General Assembly a $1.2-$1.4 billion bond proposal for Project Phoenix, to revitalize old buildings, build more efficient facilities, and spur economic development.
  • North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple (R) called for an additional $300 million for the school construction revolving loan program.
  • Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam (R) allocated $260 million in this year’s budget for capital projects including new science facilities at Jackson State Community College and the University of Tennessee, nearly $25 million for improvements to colleges of applied technology across the state, and funding for a fine arts classroom building at East Tennessee State University.

Transportation - $1.4 billion estimated value

  • North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory (R) announced he will request a transportation bond of $1.2 billion to allow quicker construction of projects in the 25-year vision plan.
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a $65 million investment in ports and hubs from Albany to Oswego, to Syracuse, to the Port of Ogdensburg, to the Binghamton Rail Yard.
  • Governor Cuomo is also calling for $150 million for construction of vertical parking structures at strategic locations in Long Island and Westchester to assist commuters coming in on the Long Island Rail Road.

Continued budget growth sets the stage for ongoing investments and innovation as the governors look to allocate a collective $750 billion in FY 2015 general funds across a variety of spending areas. For access to the 2015 State of the States report, please click here.

State and local Industry Analysis provides an in-depth comprehensive perspective of the market. Our highly trained analysts provide answers to your critical questions about agency priorities, budgets allocated for your technology or service, trends and forecasts in state and local technology spending – enabling you to determine your strategy and tactics for capturing more business. For more information on State and local Industry Analysis, click here

 

State and Local AEC Snapshots: Baltimore County, Md.

You know Baltimore County’s capital project plan is big when the Maryland Stadium Authority is the agency administering the project. How big? More than $1 billion big.

In 2014, Baltimore County Executive Director Kevin Kamenetz unveiled an aggressive $1.1 billion school renovation plan. More than 80 percent of the county’s schools are more than 40 years old, and school populations are expected to grow, despite the county’s 0.7 percent population growth rate.

In fiscal year 2014, Baltimore County spent $97 million on construction within elementary and secondary education, and an additional $19 million within higher education. Elementary and secondary spending is up from $84 million in fiscal year 2011, and the numbers are expected to rise dramatically with the billion-dollar capital project plan coming to fruition. 

It is no secret that local governments tend to favor local vendors when it comes to AEC contracts, but this doesn’t mean that a company based outside of Maryland or Virginia has no chance of winning a piece of the $1 billion pie. Vendors should be aware that the Maryland Stadium Authority has publicly stated that it is “not restricting it [contracts] just to local firms,” but “part of the desire of the program is to maximize local participation.”

Another unknown result of the county’s massive education infrastructure overhaul is the effect it will have on surrounding counties or even neighboring states. Many counties and cities across the country have dilapidated schools in dire need of renovation or replacement, but lack funding to pay for the upgrades. Baltimore County brought the $158 million education bond to voters in November 2014. It was the largest voter-approved referendum in the county’s history. Additional localities may take a similar route to put more money toward education.

A quick glance at the county’s surrounding Baltimore area shows a similar picture. Howard County’s top construction expenditure in fiscal year 2014 was elementary and secondary education, at $71 million. Anne Arundel County spent nearly $131 million on elementary and secondary education construction, also its highest expenditure. While education and construction on education-related projects are typically top spending areas for counties, it is clear that education spending has taken even greater priority in Maryland.

You can learn more about state and local spending with GovWin IQ’s State Profiles and Local Snapshots. Not a subscriber, click here to gain access with a free trial. 

 

What Agencies Really Spend on Cloud: A Case Study

Several years ago, Deltek’s Federal Industry Analysis team developed a sophisticated system for estimating what the actual federal information technology budget is every year. FIA did this because the figures released by the Office of Management and Budget capture only a portion of yearly IT spending, meaning government contractors had only part of the picture to work with when it came time to set strategic goals. The deficiencies in OMB-provided estimates on cloud computing spending are no different than the overall IT figures. They also don’t capture everything that is being spent, leading vendors to develop flawed assumptions about where money is going toward cloud efforts.

Basing strategic goals on the estimates provided by federal agencies is a big unstated risk to government contractors. Bid and proposal dollars may be pushed in the wrong direction, sales targets may be set unrealistically high/low, etc., and yet these kinds of decisions are made all the time using the government’s partial data. How far off are the government figures when it comes to spending on cloud?  Let’s look at an example.

According to the Department of the Interior, it spent approximately $11.4 million on cloud services in FY 2014. The programs on which the money was spent are:

So far so good, right? Sure, however, the numbers you see are only part of the picture. According to data from Deltek’s Cloud Computing Database the actual amount that DOI customers spent on cloud services in FY 2014 was at least $21.6 million; $10 million more than was reported by the DOI. The table below shows these investments.

Comparing the two tables we can see that the investments listed in table one don’t match those in table two. This is because DOI contracting personnel reported spending data by service rendered (table two), not by investment title. It follows, therefore, that an investment called “Cloud Hosting & Support Services” could related to one of the program investments mentioned above.

The point of this exercise is to offer a word of warning when it comes to strategic planning. The fact is that the IT spending data provided by federal agencies is incomplete, meaning it can strongly skew our view of where a respective agency’s IT investment dollars are going. Understanding this can make the difference between setting realistic and unrealistic goals, so having the right tools is critical for making the best possible decisions.

 

State and Local AEC Snapshots: Las Vegas, Nev.

Though cities nationwide felt the one-two punch of the Great Recession and its aftermath, Las Vegas, Nevada, was hit particularly hard. Aside from tourism naturally dwindling in the wake of economic collapse, property values in Sin City and surrounding areas also plummeted, resulting in a high number of residents fleeing the state. With Las Vegas’ biggest draw being casinos and entertainment, the city needed to find a way to bring people back – both to live and visit.

In fiscal year 2014, Las Vegas spent $180 million on construction within parks and recreation, far more than any other construction category (see chart, below). General public building construction ranked second for spending, at approximately $120 million. Please note that this data, provided by the U.S. Census, may include projects developed by various city agencies, though categorized under one label.

Las Vegas has upped the ante with spending on parks and other facilities in hopes of attracting new residents. It’s a smart move considering parks and recreational development often boosts quality of life and, in turn, attracts more people to houses that have dipped in value. The overall idea is to increase demand, which will increase property value and, ultimately, revenue for the city.

While Las Vegas is seen as a tourist destination, the city must also focus on improving infrastructure for non-tourists and businesses. The city is currently investing in infrastructure to attract Major League Soccer (MLS), National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Football Association (NFL) teams. While nothing is guaranteed, making a play to offer more parks and entertainment facilities makes the city more alluring for visitors, residents and businesses alike.

Architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) firms, both in the public and private sector, should bet on Las Vegas in the coming years. Construction is already beginning in the public sector and will only increase if the city lands a professional sports team. AEC vendors would be wise to monitor procurement activity and population increases in Las Vegas, all of which point toward more potential business.

You can learn more about current procurement opportunities in the GovWin IQ State and Local Opportunities database. Not a Deltek subscriber? Click here to learn more about Deltek's GovWin IQ service and gain access to a free trial.

 

 

State and Local AEC Snapshots: Fairfax County, Va.

The state and local architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) market reached new heights in the public sector last year, with construction put in place (CPIP) reaching $274.4 billion, per the U.S. Census Bureau. CPIP refers to the measure of the value of the construction installed. Looking beyond CPIP to related architecture and engineering consulting, the number would be even greater.

Deltek will begin looking at the AEC market through the lens of specific entities in order to understand how certain markets have evolved and where they are heading. Fairfax County, Virginia, is the subject of our first profile.

Fairfax County’s overall expenditures have increased 3.5 percent over the past nine years, due in part to increasing population and government employment. Drilling even further into the county’s construction expenditures tells a similar story.

The chart below depicts the top categories within the county’s construction spending as well as annual spending since 2011. Elementary and secondary education has consistently been the greatest construction expenditure, from $163 million in 2011, to nearly $180 million in 2014. 

One explanation for the significant rise in construction expenditures since 2011 is increasing population – from approximately 970,000 in 2000, to an estimated 1.13 million in 2013. With population increases comes a greater need for schools and other infrastructure to accommodate more people. While other construction categories showed modest growth, such as water utilities and highways, it doesn’t compare to the growth within education. Fairfax County, with its close proximity to the federal government, will likely see continued population growth and construction needs in widespread markets, not just the education space.

You can learn more about current procurement opportunities in the GovWin IQ State and Local Opportunities database. Not a Deltek subscriber? Click here to learn more about Deltek's GovWin IQ service and gain access to a free trial.

 

Federal Spending on Enterprise Business Systems Stays Strong

Ongoing initiatives to modernize government business systems offer prime examples of the ways federal agencies are looking to leverage technology transformation to achieve cost savings and efficiency gains. 

At end of 2014, Deltek’s Federal Industry Analysis team completed analysis of the market for business systems, identifying four segments characterized by different types of enterprise solutions. These four segments are financial management, asset and material management, human resources management, and administration and government management. 


Financial Management – The goal of improving financial management across the government has led to updated guidance for financial management system and shared services initiatives. Systems in this segment include solutions for payroll, accounting, invoice processing, budget formulation, and collections. This segment is expected to grow by 4.7% from FY 2014 to reach $3.4 billion in FY 2015.

 

Asset and Materials Management – Business systems for asset and materials management facilitate tighter asset control. Systems in this segment include solutions for supply chain management, inventory control, and fleet management. This segment remains flat from FY 2014 to 2015.

 

Human Resources Management – These systems support efforts to improve workforce performance. Solutions include personnel management, performance management, recruiting, and compensation management. This segment is expected to grow by 8.3% over FY 2014 levels to $3 billion.

 

Administration and Government Management – These systems include solutions for contract management, program management, customer relationship management, and travel management. Spending in this segment continues near FY2014 levels.

 

Deltek predicts contractor addressable spending on federal business systems to total $10.6 billion for FY 2015, increasing slightly over FY 2014 spending levels.  While many government efforts to improve business systems have been underway for some time, policies and legislative mandates continue to shape both the strategic direction and agency progress. For example, demand for improved business performance is underscored by reporting requirements and the need for increased financial transparency. The goal of reducing spending is also linked to efforts like adoption of shared services and plans to address auditability of financial systems. Ongoing budget pressure has increased the tendency to take an incremental approach to streamlining and enhancing government business operations.

 

Agencies making the largest investments in modernizations efforts include the Department of Defense, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs. Going forward, agencies are looking to continue advancing business system capabilities through mobile access and business analytics. The role of cloud environments is expected to expand, as only a small percentage of systems have completed migrated to cloud environments. Further exploration of the government initiatives targeting modernization of business systems is available in the recent Federal Industry Analysis report Federal Enterprise Business Systems, 2015.

 Originally published for Federal Industry Analysis: Analysts Perspectives Blog. Stay ahead of the competition by discovering more about GovWinIQ. Follow me on twitter @FIAGovWin.

 

Federal Cybersecurity Market Forecast –Sustained Growth Continues

The federal cybersecurity market continues to grow and we have just completed analysis that shows how much. Increasing threats, the rapid pace of technological change, and an increasing reliance on mobility, cloud computing, big data, and information sharing make information security critical for federal agencies. To address these challenges, agencies continue to invest in industry tools, technologies and personnel services and this will drive growth in the market segment over the next several years.

Taking a comprehensive perspective on the federal cybersecurity market, we see four major driving areas that continue to create demand for government-wide and agency budget investments:

  • Threat Drivers - Rapid rise in complex, diverse, persistent and morphing threats to networks, devices, data and other infrastructure.
  • Policy Drivers - Executive branch policies address wide areas of cyber- across government and beyond. Stagnant legislation reflects diversity of opinion. Compliance policy bolsters spending on existing frameworks. RFP language both driving and requiring security.
  • People Drivers - Challenge to find enough qualified cybersecurity professionals. Initiatives to cultivate internal government talent and “inherently governmental” roles will limit contractor addressability, but agencies that supplement by contracting will drive spending.
  • Technology Drivers - Threats and vulnerabilities drive direct technical remedies while new, disruptive technologies require security for full adoption.

Given these drivers, Deltek forecasts the demand for vendor-furnished information security products and services by the U.S. federal government will increase from $7.8 billion in FY 2014 to $10.0 billion in 2019 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2%. (See chart below.)

Key Findings

There are several conclusions that we came to when reflecting on what we are observing across the federal information security environment and how the drivers above are impacting the market both now and going forward. Here are some of our key findings:

  • The continued rise in cyber incidents underscores what is at stake.
    • Threats span all areas of cyber – from within and from without.
    • Threat concerns impact all levels of the federal IT environment.
    • Persistent and diverse threats are driving risk-based approaches.
  • Policies and priorities are slow to evolve into effective security approaches.
    • The drive for security permeates multiple layers of federal policy, but there is a disconnect between compliance policies like FISMA and actual security, as revealed by the volume and type of security incidents.
    • Security considerations impact the broader tech and acquisition landscape.
  • Security efforts and posture are currently dependent on the availability and proficiency of skilled personnel.
    • Staffing levels and skill sets vary across government, driving sustained demand for industry support.
  • Technologies are seen as both security “gap-filler” and “gap-creator.”
    • One year into CDM tools BPA only marginal improvements have been seen.
  • Strong processes are needed to link technologies, approaches and personnel skill sets to maximize security posture.

Efforts among agencies to increase effectiveness, efficiency and economy like the joint DHS-GSA Continuous Diagnostics and Monitoring (CDM) program BPA are having some impact on how agencies are approaching cybersecurity and setting their spending priorities within their security budgets. Although the process of arriving at accurate and complete IT asset inventories that need to be secured and monitored is taking time, somewhat elongating the journey, we remain bullish that the priority of securing and protecting federal data and infrastructure will continue to drive significant market opportunity over the next five years.

Get more of our perspective in our latest report: Federal Information Security Market, FY 2014-2019.

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Originally published for Federal Industry Analysis: Analysts Perspectives Blog. Stay ahead of the competition by discovering more about 
GovWin FIA. Follow me on Twitter @GovWinSlye.

DHS Cybersecurity Spending Trends Align with Personnel Challenges

Attracting and retaining skilled cybersecurity people is key for federal agencies in meeting their cybersecurity challenges and this is especially true at the Department of Homeland Security. Yet, DHS continues to make the news with its difficulty in retaining top staff and in hiring highly-qualified people, especially for cybersecurity.   A look at their cybersecurity spending data reveals what has been happening.

I previously looked at the media reports of morale and personnel retention issues at DHS that impact their cybersecurity mission and some legislation that Congress has moved forward that may make it easier for DHS to hire cybersecurity staff in the future. This week I want to look at some of the IT security budget data that underscores the situation at the department – especially how much of DHS’s IT security spending goes toward security personnel verses security software and hardware solutions.

Hard data on what agencies spend on cybersecurity is not usually easy to find and it can vary in its completeness and granularity. However, over the last several years OMB has released varying amounts of IT security budget data as part of their annual Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) report submitted to Congress to update them on the progress and challenges agencies are facing. On a few occasions OMB has provided a breakdown of spending by personnel, security tools, training and other areas.

To be sure, the amount that a federal department spends on security personnel compared to their overall IT security spending varies agency by agency and the relative mix of government personnel to contracted personnel also varies. Observing an agency’s total IT security personnel spending vis-à-vis their overall security budget can give a sense of the security landscape at the department. The stability or movement often may be tied to specific priorities at the department. Even if it is not, the mix can give us a sense and hint at what opportunities may exist

DHS IT Security Spending

Based on the last several Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) reports released by OMB, DHS’s reported IT Security spend was stable from FY 2010 to FY 2011 and then saw significant yearly increases in FY 2012 and FY 2013. However, over the same period, the amount of money DHS spent on security personnel actually dropped. (See chart below.)  The result is that the relative percentage of total spending that was used for security personnel decreased at an accelerating rate over the period as the two categories moved in opposite directions – total spending increased while personnel spending decreased.


But the story gets even more stark. For FY 2012 DHS reported to OMB that they employed just under 400 IT security government personnel, compared to contracting more than 600 IT security personnel from industry. While this proportion of government-to-contractor personnel itself is not completely unheard of (Treasury, Energy, and NASA have even larger spreads) the fact remains that DHS holds the predominant role in government-wide IT security, consistently receives the largest IT security budget among the civilian agencies, and is one of the most dependent on a contracted workforce to achieve its cyber- mission.

Over the last several years various members of the DHS leadership have made well-publicized comments about the challenges of attracting and retaining cybersecurity personnel. Hence the legislative push in Congress to help them. Yet the spending data suggests that there is growing opportunity at DHS in areas that are not personnel-centric, like cybersecurity solutions that put tools in the hands of the skilled people they have now in order to make them more productive and effective. Evidence for this is that DHS’s spending on IT security tools increased from about $30 million in FY 2010 to nearly $300 million in FY 2012.

DHS will probably continue to struggle to build their cyber-workforce for some time – with or without help from Congress. Until then, they’ll continue to need skilled people from industry to fulfill the mission, but to reach long-term sustainability and ultimate success they will need to look to ever-advancing security tools to leverage their people to the maximum effect.

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Originally published in the GovWin FIA Analysts Perspectives Blog. Follow me on Twitter @GovWinSlye.

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