Over the past year of presidential campaigning, federal spending has been the subject of major discussion and debate.

Financial concept of growth on the American Stock Exchange.Comparison exchange charts the USA and China.

While some agencies are looking at significant budget cuts, the areas of big data and cloud computing will consistently make headway in the battle of the big bucks. GovWin, which tracks government contracting opportunities, recently issued a report on key trends in cloud, big data, mobility, and data centers in federal IT environments. The report’s findings showed major growth in these areas.

  • GovWin forecasts that spending for vendor-furnished cloud computing services will more than double in five years—from $3.1 billion in 2016 to $6.35 billion in 2021.
  • Big data will see an almost equal rise in spending, from $1.95 billion in 2016 to $3.5 billion in 2021.

According the GovWin, “The need for a more secure IT footprint, greater efficiency and effectiveness, lower costs, and improved citizen services will continue to fuel investments in these areas.”
The Modernizing Government Technology Act (MGTA) was passed by the House of Representatives in September 2016. The legislation provides funding (estimated to be $3 billion) to upgrade, retire, or replace legacy systems to mitigate cybersecurity threats that resulted from outdated technology.
A month earlier, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget launched the Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI). This program is expected to revive the interest in data centers that faded when cybersecurity and mobility priorities absorbed more IT focus.

Here are some key findings from the study:

  • Private clouds have been preferred by civilian and defense agencies, with $1 billion of contract spending over the last three years.
  • Chief Data Officers are being hired to develop and manage big data and enterprise computing strategies for government agencies.
  • Mobility continues to present a security option, which prohibits a broader adoption of the technology throughout the federal government agencies. More dollars are committed to buying devices than managed services at present.

The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) was established to develop and maintain standards for cloud computing in the government sector. FedRAMP addresses security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services in the federal IT infrastructure. This compliance system is expected to save 30% to 40% in staff time and costs.
As all of us in the data collection industry know, we need to continue to invest in the ever-evolving technology, but also remain mindful of the diverse challenges that are inherent with mobility.
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