IT Professionals The Federal Government needs you
Have you got the expertise you need in cloud computing, cybersecurity, data analytics, or artificial intelligence? Are you able to upgrade I.T. Infrastructure? If yes, then the government requires your skills in the year ahead. Based on Bloomberg Government, the U.S. government invests around $80 billion in Information Technology (I.T.), and approximately 70 percent of it is spent on contracts, estimated at $60 billion. However, the federal government isn’t the only one to spend money on I.T. states. States like California and Pennsylvania spent $7.2 billion and $2.5 billion in 2018. With huge spending by the federal government on I.T., who better secure an attractive contract or job in this area? Let’s look at ways to accomplish this.
Modernizing I.T. Infrastructure
The federal government is in dire need of upgrading the state of its I.T. infrastructure. It was never more evident than the crisis of family separation that resulted from the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy. The various agencies that were responsible for the separation of children from their parents/adults were unable to monitor the separations due to computer issues, as per The New York Times. “For example, only one part of Customs and Border Protection, the Border Patrol, had systems that could send information about migrant children directly to Department of Health and Human Services computers,” reports the Times. Furthermore, “a database said to be jointly developed by health and homeland security departments to keep track of families separated was not in existence. The agencies would later acknowledge that there was no “direct electronic connection between their computer systems.”
But that’s not the entire story. The government is plagued by expensive, outdated, and inefficient legacy systems that burden the majority of departments. They also pose a risk to security risks. The amount of money spent on these technologies has grown by 13 percent in the past five years. It’s time to shift away from these systems to cloud-based solutions, and it is taking place slowly. President Trump supports this and is planning to invest $4 billion into commercial I.T. and hopes to implement the “buy first” approach towards cloud computing in addition to software as a Service application. Helping in modernizing the government’s I.T. infrastructures can provide numerous opportunities for work. There is a significant focus in the areas below in which the government has been conducting various large-scale initiatives.
Not just because the older systems are plagued by security vulnerabilities, but because the government and citizen information require protection Security is of top importance to the federal government. Budgets for cybersecurity increased in 2019 as security breaches are becoming more frequent because of sophisticated hackers. The NSA as well as the Office of Personnel Management, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and others have all suffered security incidents recently. Security breaches have been reported to the Department of Defense alone will invest $8.6 billion in cybersecurity. So far, ten contractors have been awarded one-third of cybersecurity-related contracts, but this leaves plenty of doors open for companies to pursue.
Not only are there contracts as well, but so are the opportunities. Highly sought-after cybersecurity professionals possess their own job boards, which are managed through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to match skilled cyber-tech professionals with jobs all over the United States.
As the government is shedding its outdated system, it’s transferring every aspect of the system to the cloud, which means those with cloud computing expertise are highly sought-after, and so are businesses that offer these services. While moving to cloud computing is expensive right now, but in the long term, it can reduce costs and make it safer, which is why the White House’s decision to move to the cloud is taking place today. As per SmartProcure, the company is predicted that the total value of cloud-related federal investments will grow by $2.2 billion as of 2017 and $3.3 billion by 2021. Additionally, for the fiscal year 2018, Bloomberg Government projects that federal cloud spending will surpass $8 billion. This includes $5.5 billion for civilian organizations and $2.5 billion for the Pentagon.
State and local government expenditure for cloud-based computing services are extremely. “State and local governments aren’t moving to the cloud for cost benefits, but primarily for increased security,” according to Shawn McCarthy, director of research at IDC Government Insights. Cloud migration provides the state and local authorities more security. Cloud service providers that are public, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Salesforce, are used increasingly by all of these government agencies. Therefore, those with expertise as well as companies that provide services in cloud computing also will have plenty of opportunities to work with the government in some way.
The federal government is plagued by fraud. Experts estimate the federal government’s costs from fraud of nearly 150 billion when all of the components of it, such as fraud, the waste of money (FWA), and payments that were not spent or given to the wrong recipients in the year 2017. Data analytics can help stave off these mistakes.
The government is aware of this and has allocated funds for hiring workers and companies to provide these services. One of the departments in which data analytics are helping can be found in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ( CMS). The article states that “CMS created its Fraud Prevention System (FPS) which makes use of advanced analytics to detect the source of, stop, and prevent payments that are suspicious patterns, and also to increase the level of suspicion for other payments that are suspect for investigation. FPS assisted CMS to prevent $527 million in loss to fraud during the year-end 2016 fiscal year in a broader set of efforts to ensure the integrity of programs that have saved CMS more than $18 billion each year, with an ROI that was 12.4:1.”
Other departments that have that were similarly helped are those of the Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.) as well as the IRS. Additionally, data analytics assist with the airport control in airport control for the Department of Transportation, aiding in, for instance, the ability to determine in real-time which long queues at the security gate are. The list could go on. It is not surprising as you find that the government’s spending on I.T. equipment, programs, and other services that support the management, analysis of, visualization, and sharing of corporate data is high. According to Bloomberg Government Bloomberg Government, federal agencies spent more than $2.1 billion on business intelligence in the fiscal year 2017.
Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) spending by the government is high too and increasing every year as it discovers new possibilities to make use of A.I. As of 2017, $450million in AI-related projects was allocated, and the amount was projected to rise to $530 million by the end of 2018.
Additionally, “In fiscal 2019, the Defense Department plans to invest greater than $1.5 billion. In fiscal 2019, the U.S. Navy leads all branches of service with $460 million of investment into AI R&D, followed by the Air Force with $331 million and the Army with $162 million. Additional defense departments, such as Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and other agencies, will spend $562 million.” This is a huge amount of contract funds to be shopped around. A lot of workers are needed to be employed.
A few areas where A.I. is essential to include Medical Technology Development, with an estimated $128.6 million in 2019 requests, U.S. Cyber Command Joint Access Platforms, which have $83.7 million sought, and Experimentation campaigns by the Air Force, with $87.2 million in funding. These are just some of the contract dollars that are required to be fulfilled by A.I. firms. Also, as in other areas, chances are plentiful.
Examples of Contracts that are Available
Below are eight contracts that are available in fiscal years 2018 to 2020 that demonstrate the benefits of submitting applications for government contracts.
- The DOD’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) is BGOV believes that JEDI will offer high-end cloud computing services like Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) to all military and defense branches, which will cost $10 billion.
- The DISA’s Defense Enterprise Office Solutions (DEOS) — DEOS is an 8 billion contract to provide collaboration tools via the cloud of commercial providers and will replace existing systems such as Defense Enterprise Email, Defense Enterprise Postal Service as well as Defense Collaboration Service. Defense Collaboration Service
- The VA’s Commodities Enterprise Contracts-Next Generation (CEC-NG), valued at as much as $5.3 billion CEC-NG, will offer IT-related products like tablets, laptops, servers, routers, and laptops. It will also provide additional software and services, like firewalls
- Federal Bureau Of Investigation’s I.T. Supplies and Support Services 2 (ITSSS-2) ITSS-2 will have a five billion dollar ceiling and will comprise agile development Operations and Maintenance and consulting engineering, scientific services cloud, and telecoms, cybersecurity, and help desk assistance.
- DISA’s Global Solutions Management-Operations (GSM-O) II – will support the DOD Information Network; valued at $4.3 billion * Navy’s Next Generation Enterprise Network II (NGEN II) – data and services for the Navy and Marine Corps Intranet with a potential value of $3.5 billion
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Mission I.T. Services (NMITS) The $2.5 billion contracts will provide the capability to monitor environmental conditions and maintain I.T. services and data prior to and during catastrophes.
- The GSA’s NewBay Software as a Service (SAAS) — $2.5 billion contracts to provide work schedule, payroll, and leave management shared services to federal employees across agencies. GSA’s USA Contact II – $2.5 billion contracts will provide services for responding to inquiries as well as giving information via telephones, telecommunications equipment for the deaf, emails, postal mail, the internet
- Commerce Department’s Software Development and Integration Next Generation 2 (SDI-NG2) — $1 billion software agreement designed to assist Commerce to accelerate the speed and speed in processing trademark and patent applications.