GovWin
B2G is moving!
Blogs posted after May 22, 2015 will be located on Deltek's central blog page at www.deltek.com/blog.
Just select the "B2G Essentials" blog to continue to receive this valuable content.
GovWin Recon - January 31, 2014

GovWin Recon, produced by Deltek's Federal Industry Analysis (FIA) team, is designed to support awareness and understanding of the issues impacting the government and the contractors that serve it. Recon highlights key developments surrounding government technology, policy, budget and vendor activities.

Headlines beginning with an * include quotes from Deltek analysts. 

 

Federal IT:

Agency News:

Vendor News:

Cybersecurity:

Health IT:

Big Data / Analytics:

Mobility:

Defense / C4ISR / Embedded Technology:

Contracting / Acquisition:

State and Local:

AEC News:

GovWin Recon is Deltek's daily newsletter highlighting federal government contracting news and analysis from around the government contracting world. Get it delivered to your e-mail inbox, free!

 

 

 

GovWin Recon - January 30, 2014

GovWin Recon, produced by Deltek's Federal Industry Analysis (FIA) team, is designed to support awareness and understanding of the issues impacting the government and the contractors that serve it. Recon highlights key developments surrounding government technology, policy, budget and vendor activities.

Headlines beginning with an * include quotes from Deltek analysts. 

 

Federal IT:

Agency News:

Vendor News:

Cybersecurity:

Cloud Computing / Data Center Consolidation / Virtualization:

Big Data / Analytics:

Mobility:

Transparency and Performance:

Defense / C4ISR / Embedded Technology:

Contracting / Acquisition:

Legislation:

Mergers and Acquisitions:

State and Local:

AEC News:

GovWin Recon is Deltek's daily newsletter highlighting federal government contracting news and analysis from around the government contracting world. Get it delivered to your e-mail inbox, free!

 

 

 

State of the Union Highlights: Contractor Implications

On January 29, President Obama delivered his sixth State of the Union address, and the themes are familiar. The President urged Congress to work with him to pass much needed legislation to address key administration priorities, such as job creation, healthcare, immigration, national defense, tax reform, pay equality and income security, and education and training.

Although there was not much detail, my team of analysts and I walked away from the speech with a few takeaways with contracting implications:

  • No more budget crises. While Obama lauded the efforts of Congress in passing a two-year budget deal, he encouraged Congress to continue with investments that will both support our future and reduce the deficit. He also reiterated another key way to address the fiscal bleeding, which is to close tax loopholes, like those that give $4 billion to the fossil fuel industry each year, that impact our revenue.

  • Give Americans a raise. Although he does not have the power to enforce a national minimum wage increase, President Obama intends to sign an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to pay their federally-funded employees at least $10.10 an hour.This will be an interesting story to watch unfold, considering the burden this will place on the profitability of govt. contracts, especially for small businesses.  We may see contractors restructuring their rate schedules to build in increased wage requirements, which would indirectly lay the burden of higher wages onto the government and therefore U.S. taxpayers. It may also inadvertently impact the number of vendors in the federal market – and therefore price competitiveness – if businesses decide it just isn’t profitable enough to work with the federal government.

  • Accept Obamacare or propose a new solution. Now that healthcare.gov is functional, there seems to be renewed confidence in the possibilities of Obamacare.  The President challenged Republicans to come up with a better solution that makes financial sense rather than spend time on another 40 votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

  • Don’t skimp on R&D.  The President called for Congress to restore cuts to basic research that facilitates the development of leading edge technology and will help America regain global dominance in technology, medical research and manufacturing.  Obama noted two high-tech manufacturing hubs where businesses and research universities are working together, and the launch of six more hubs. More emphasis on federal R&D could give contractors more opportunities in this area. Funding basic research has been mentioned as a priority by officials from both the Pentagon and the Army.  Work done by DARPA, DOE labs, NASA, and other technology-focused parts of the government would also benefit. 

  • Refocus on CONUS defense.  There will be an interesting shift to using the Department of Defense here at home, which is a huge historical shift from restrictions on this that date back to the founding.  A major part of that strategy is to shore up cybersecurity defense capabilities and as the President stated, “…keep faith with our men and women in uniform and invest in the capabilities they need to succeed in future missions.” Not surprisingly, cybersecurity remains a critical area with gaps that agencies will need contractor support to fill.

  • Take care of our veterans. Judging by the moving reaction to wounded Army Ranger Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg, veteran care is a one of those rare, bipartisan issues that draws agreement from both sides of the aisle. President Obama indicated that the administration will “keep slashing that backlog so our veterans receive the benefits they’ve earned and our wounded warriors receive the health care – including the mental health care – that they need.” VA’s Medical IT Support and claims processing budget accounts will continue to have consistent (and growing) funding, at least in the near-term.

  • Create new jobs and train people for jobs of the future. President Obama continues his focus on the national infrastructure – rebuilding roads and upgrading ports.  This could mean opportunities for federal and state and local contractors with Architecture, Engineering and Construction expertise. With a declining federal workforce, training programs are likely to translate into contractor opportunities. Vice President Biden will lead the reform of America’s training programs, which will give employees the skills required to match with company needs. Implications:  Could help contractors looking for specific talents/skills. 
  • Invest in education and the technology to support excellence. The President targeted investment (either grants or contracts) to select providers in his pledge to connect 99 percent of students to high-speed broadband over the next four years. With support from the FCC and companies like Apple, Microsoft, Sprint, and Verizon, more than 15,000 schools and 20 million students will be connected without a negative impact to the deficit. 

  • Invest in energy efficiency and independence. The President restated his commitment to working with industry to support natural gas production and set higher fuel efficiency standards, and with business and communities to reduce energy consumption. This implies additional policy, subsidies and training in “green” professions to help facilitate America’s “shift to a cleaner energy economy.”  

  • Fix the immigration problem. President Obama encouraged the House to follow the Senate’s lead and act on immigration reform, which could result in economic growth (and therefore job creation) and a deficit reduction of almost $1 trillion in the next two decades.

Compared to last year’s State of the Union address, there was much of the same.  The President’s priorities have not significantly shifted.  However, he did raise new issues that will have both positive (defense focus on CONUS and cybersecurity) and negative (higher contractor employee wages) ramifications for companies serving the federal government.  As we typically see in federal contracting, the main issue will be in effectively translating policy into execution.

 

Agencies Continue to Struggle with Gaps in Basic Mobile Security Practices

A recent report on practices and vulnerabilities, finds room for improvement across the government’s mobile security practices.

Mid January 2014, the Mobile Work Exchange published The 2014 Mobilemeter Tracker.  The report highlights findings from the Secure Mobilemeter, a self-assessment tool for evaluating mobile practices and procedures. End-user and agency data collected through the Secure Mobilemeter during September, October, and November 2013 included responses from 155 individuals and 30 agencies, including the Department of Justice, Homeland Security, Navy, General Services Administration, and Department of Agriculture. 90% of individual government respondents indicated using at least one mobile device for work (e.g. tablet, smartphone, or laptop). Nearly 70% use a government-furnished device, 15% use a personal device, and 16% use both.

 

The report found that while most government employees leverage mobile computing in some capacity, best practices are not followed consistently. Based on the scale devised for the report, 41% of government employees need to improve mobile device security practices. For example, 25% of respondents indicated a failure to secure mobile devices with passwords and 31% accessed public Wi-Fi with a work-related device. Other gaps in basic security include 14% fail to lock their computers when away from their desk. Similarly, 22% of employees do not always store files in a secure location.

Although the Federal Digital Government Strategy has contributed to progress in a number of areas, over 25% of government employees have not received mobile security training. Further, 57% of agencies were found to have gaps in mobile policies and security systems. Agency level vulnerabilities include practices around registering mobile devices with the IT department, utilizing a remote wipe function, tracking phones, and leveraging multi-factor authentication or data encryption.

As government agencies increasing rely on networked systems and mobile computing capabilities, lagging policies and organizational culture pose greater and greater risks to government systems and data. Agencies and vendors must keep pace with new security requirements that emerge from operational shifts driven by advancements in mobile technologies. The push for government organizations to achieve greater operational efficiencies through technology adoption raises the stakes for vendors competing for contracting opportunities, who are tasked with helping agencies close capability gaps and compliance with evolving standards.

-----------------------------

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

 

GovWin Recon - January 29, 2014

GovWin Recon, produced by Deltek's Federal Industry Analysis (FIA) team, is designed to support awareness and understanding of the issues impacting the government and the contractors that serve it. Recon highlights key developments surrounding government technology, policy, budget and vendor activities.

Headlines beginning with an * include quotes from Deltek analysts. 

Sequestration / Budget:

Federal IT:

Agency News:

Vendor News:

Cybersecurity:

Cloud Computing / Data Center Consolidation / Virtualization:

Health IT:

Transparency and Performance:

Waste, Fraud and Abuse:

Defense / C4ISR / Embedded Technology:

State and Local:

AEC News:

GovWin Recon is Deltek's daily newsletter highlighting federal government contracting news and analysis from around the government contracting world. Get it delivered to your e-mail inbox, free!

 

 

 

 

2013 Wastebook: Entertaining and Eye-Opening

Last month, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) released his annual report on federal waste, documenting nearly $30 billion in wasteful government spending, up from $18 billion documented last year. The report, Wastebook 2013, identifies 100 programs that in Senator Coburn’s words represent “mismanagement and stupidity.”

“Had Congress, in particular, been focused on doing its job of setting priorities and cutting the kind of wasteful spending outlined in this report, we could have avoided both a government shutdown and a flawed budget deal that was designed to avert a shutdown,” states Coburn in the report.

Coburn’s research identifies federal funding to provide benefits to the Fort Hood shooter, study of romance novels, help the State Department buy Facebook fans and even help NASA study Congress.  For purposes of this blog, I’ve attempted to highlight programs that contain some form of IT or federal contracting implications, but I encourage you to browse through the entire 175 page report if for nothing more than amusement and entertainment purposes. 

Let Me Google That for You: National Technical Information Service – (Commerce) $50M:  Department of Commerce’s National Technical Information Service (NTIS) was established more than 60 years ago to collect scientific, technical, engineering, and business-related information and reports, and sells\ them to other federal agencies.  But with the advent of the internet, most of these documents are available for free online.  NIST has essentially become the “let me Google that for you” office of the federal government to the tune of $50M in 2013.

Millions Spent Building, Promoting an Insurance Plan Few Want and a Website that Doesn’t Work – (HHS) At least $379M:  We are all aware of the flawed rollout of Healthcare.gov.  Coburn’s report quips that Obamacare is perhaps the biggest marketing flop since Coca-Cola introduced the world to “New Coke” in 1985.  The cost to build Healthcare.gov is estimated at $319 million so far.  “The total amount to be spent nationally on publicity, marketing and advertising will be at least $684 million, according to data compiled The Associated Press from federal and state sources.”

Status Update: Facebook Pays No Taxes, Instead gets a Tax Refund – (IRS) $295M:  Facebook, one of America’s largest companies, avoided paying federal or state income taxes for 2012, and is poised to do so again this year.  In fact, they will likely receive a check from the federal government in the form of a tax refund. By providing stock options as a major form of compensation, they are able to use them for federal and state stock option deductions to offset pretax profit. 

State Department “Buys Fans” to Increase Facebook “Likes” – (State) $630K:  The State Department spent $630,000 “buying fans” for its Facebook and Twitter accounts.  The effort was undertaken by the Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) to build America’s reputation with foreign audiences.   The program was a huge flop.  Even though the effort generated thousands of likes, few people engaged with the State Department on either site. 

Duplicative and Wasteful IT Systems – $321M:  The federal government spends more than $82 billion on IT each year, but according to a recent GAO report three agencies have spent $321 million for overlapping IT purposes over the past several years.  HHS maintains the most costly duplicative IT systems according to GAO, totaling $260.38 million.  HHS maintains four systems related to Enterprise Information Security and two IT systems that are used for Medicare coverage both containing similar information.  DoD and DHS were also cited has having costly duplicative IT systems by GAO.  

Can You Hear Me Now? Millions Wasted on Untested, Malfunctioning IT – (USDA) $20M:  The USDA forked over $20 million to several companies for mobile device management (MDM) integration which is now one year behind schedule and malfunctioning.  One contractor’s software is not even compatible with part of the USDA’s network security infrastructure.  Eight months after the MDM system was supposed to have completed a 30-day, 3,000 phone test phase, this test phase has been pushed back, and the USDA is still just testing one component of the contractor’s incompatible software to determine whether the software will be used or abandoned.

 

The Bottom Line

During the introduction of the report, Coburn suggests, “…place your personal political persuasion aside and ask yourself: Do each of these represent a real national priority that should be spared from budget cuts or are these excesses that should have been eliminated in order to spare deeper cuts to those services and missions that should be performed by the federal government?” 

The bottom line is that the federal government still has a long way to go in order to curb pet projects, wasteful spending, and fraud.   Federal agencies perpetually will face tighter budgets while endeavoring to become more efficient and effective.  In some cases, technology can help identify wasteful spending, and root out fraud and abuse.  Agencies will continue to strive to improve operations, processes, and payment accuracy in order to save taxpayers’ money, leaving the market ripe for continued contractor support, especially in the areas of financial management, payment accuracy, and fraud prevention.

 

 

Opportunities in Army Network Operations

Just before the Christmas holiday I posted a short piece explaining how network engineering efforts in the Army are leading the way to the Defense Department’s new Joint information Environment (JIE).  In this post I’ll elaborate on some of the points I made earlier, especially concerning the Army’s focus on network operations.
 
The December post noted that the Army has expressed an interest in acquiring a number of capabilities that it may host in its new Core Data Centers once those centers are in place.  Upon reflection I realize now that I got ahead of myself.  There is a lot of ground for the Army to cover before it can turn its attention to acquiring the capabilities I mentioned in the earlier post.  This is particularly the case as far as network operations (NetOps) are concerned.

Infrastructure Enhancements

Presently the Project Manager Installation Information Infrastructure Communications and Capabilities (PM I3CS) remains focused on upgrading the network and communications hardware required by the Army to increase bandwidth and network interoperability across the Service’s bases, posts, camps, and stations (B/P/C/S).  This effort includes:
  • Upgrading core routers capable of supporting speeds of up to 100 GB per second.
  • Reducing Non-classified Internet Protocol Router Network (NIPRNet) entry and exit points from 435 in the continental U.S. to fewer than 20 points globally.
  • Deploying upgraded Application Delivery Network/End User Building (ADN/EUB) switches.
These efforts, presumably being carried out largely via orders issued under the Infrastructure Modernization (IMOD) IDIQ contract, are scheduled for completion in the CONUS by the end of fiscal 2014.  Work will then shift to overseas locations for fiscal 2015-2016.  Simultaneously the Army is working to consolidate data centers into a handful of Core Data Centers.  The anticipated result of these efforts is to have built by fiscal 2017 a more highly integrated and interoperable network infrastructure capable of delivering enterprise services.

Network Operations Capabilities

This is where a series of network operations capabilities fit in that I errantly referred to as “enterprise services” back in December.  According to Army documents, some of these capabilities may be procured “as-a-Service.”  Whether these “services” will be hosted in the Army’s CDC’s or in commercial data centers remains to be seen.  The capabilities currently on the Army’s radar to be delivered as managed network operations services are as follows:
  • IP Network Management System (NetMan)
  • Network Intrusion Prevention System (NIPS)
  • Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS)
  • Firewall Element Management
  • Proxy Management
  • Router Element Management
  • Switch Element Management
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN) Management
  • Virtualization Management System (VMS)
  • Network Access Control (NAC)
  • Identity Management System
  • Directory Services Management
Procurement

Given the Army’s anticipated schedule for completing its network infrastructure upgrades (i.e., the end of FY 2014), I assume we may see procurement activity related to these capabilities beginning this fiscal year.  Where the opportunities will appear remains a mystery.  Some may be competed openly while others may be procured via contract vehicles like PD CHESS’ IT Enterprise Solutions 2 – Services (ITES-2S).  However they are procured, look for them to appear sooner rather than later.

 

GovWin Recon - January 28, 2014

GovWin Recon, produced by Deltek's Federal Industry Analysis (FIA) team, is designed to support awareness and understanding of the issues impacting the government and the contractors that serve it. Recon highlights key developments surrounding government technology, policy, budget and vendor activities.

Headlines beginning with an * include quotes from Deltek analysts. 

 

Federal IT:

Agency News:

Vendor News:

Cloud Computing / Data Center Consolidation / Virtualization:

Health IT:

Big Data / Analytics:

Defense / C4ISR / Embedded Technology:

Contracting / Acquisition:

Legislation:

State and Local:

GovWin Recon is Deltek's daily newsletter highlighting federal government contracting news and analysis from around the government contracting world. Get it delivered to your e-mail inbox, free!

 

 

 

 

 

GovWin Recon - January 27, 2014

GovWin Recon, produced by Deltek's Federal Industry Analysis (FIA) team, is designed to support awareness and understanding of the issues impacting the government and the contractors that serve it. Recon highlights key developments surrounding government technology, policy, budget and vendor activities.

Headlines beginning with an * include quotes from Deltek analysts. 

Sequestration / Budget:

Federal IT:

Agency News:

Vendor News:

Cybersecurity:

Cloud Computing / Data Center Consolidation / Virtualization:

Health IT:

Big Data / Analytics:

Mobility:

Defense / C4ISR / Embedded Technology:

Contracting / Acquisition:

State and Local:

AEC News:

GovWin Recon is Deltek's daily newsletter highlighting federal government contracting news and analysis from around the government contracting world. Get it delivered to your e-mail inbox, free!

 

 

GovWin Recon - January 24, 2014

GovWin Recon, produced by Deltek's Federal Industry Analysis (FIA) team, is designed to support awareness and understanding of the issues impacting the government and the contractors that serve it. Recon highlights key developments surrounding government technology, policy, budget and vendor activities.

Headlines beginning with an * include quotes from Deltek analysts. 

 

Federal IT:

Agency News:

Vendor News:

Cybersecurity:

Cloud Computing / Data Center Consolidation / Virtualization:

Big Data / Analytics:

Mobility:

Transparency and Performance:

Defense / C4ISR / Embedded Technology:

Contracting / Acquisition:

Mergers and Acquisitions:

State and Local:

GovWin Recon is Deltek's daily newsletter highlighting federal government contracting news and analysis from around the government contracting world. Get it delivered to your e-mail inbox, free!

 

 

 

 

 

More Entries