April 27, 2016

Public sector Cloud opportunities on the rise

By Chris Wiedemann,
immixGroup (an Arrow Company) Market Intelligence Analyst

The federal government is projected to spend $2.6 billion on cloud solutions in FY16, a significant jump from the previous year. The bulk of the money will go toward the Department of Defense, which will spend $1 billion, followed by the Departments of Commerce and Homeland Security, each projected to spend $200 million. 

The focus on federal cloud adoption is driven by new public policies, renewed emphasis from government leaders, and updated acquisition methods. Those changes are creating opportunities for industry to sell technology as a service to the federal government.

So where are the cloud-specific opportunities? My colleague, DOD Manager Lloyd McCoy, and I talked on this issue for nearly an hour during immixGroup’s Market Intelligence Briefing earlier this month at our headquarters outside of Washington, D.C.

Here are some key highlights from this discussion that demonstrate where we’re seeing an uptick on cloud adoption in the federal civilian IT community:

  1. Department of Commerce:
    Look for Census to be a big cloud customer for the next few years. The team behind the 2020 Decennial Census will be focusing on development and testing of production systems and a lot of those test platforms will be hosted in a commercial cloud. The ultimate goal will be to have all systems operational and ready for a full test by the end of FY18.
  2. Department of the Treasury:
    The opportunity here is at the IRS, which is doing market research on workforce management, contact recording, and contact analysis tools in the cloud. The rest of Treasury will be focused on service providers, especially at the Administrative Resource Center out of the Fiscal Service. ARC will own a community cloud, requiring support from service management and CRM-type tools.
  3. Department of Homeland Security:
    DHS has long advocated for private cloud or government-owned cloud models for data center consolidation. But now there’s real movement toward public cloud adoption at the top level, opening up an industry opportunity. The Office of the CIO is building a program called Enterprise Computing Services, which will act like a cloud purchasing vehicle for DHS. The department has run pilots of major public cloud offerings, with the end goal being the Information Technology Services Office acting as that DHS cloud broker.

Conclusion

The opportunity to sell technology as a service to the federal government has never been greater thanks to new policy, new emphasis, and new acquisition methods. While this creates some challenges in itself – for example, how do you prospect when every office is a possible insertion point? – it’s an exciting time for companies looking to break into the federal cloud market. Want to hear more? Click here for an on-demand video of the immixGroup briefing.

About the Author

Chris Wiedemann is a Market Intelligence Consultant with immixGroup (an Arrow company), which helps technology companies do business with the government. Chris focuses on civilian agencies and cloud computing. Need help identifying top IT decision makers and opportunities in government? Contact immixGroup’s industry-leading Market Intelligence team today.