Finding Business Opportunities within Federal IT

A new survey by the immixGroup (highlighted in Washington Technology) says federal agencies are emphasizing value measurement, process improvement, elimination of redundancy, and the adoption of new technologies to improve operations.  Buying trends expected to emphasize cybersecurity, cloud computing/virtualization and telework/mobile computing.

The 2012 Federal IT budget request is approximately $80.9 billion up slightly from the $78.8 billion IT budget in 2011.  For 2012, 52 percent of the request is for the civilian sector and 48 percent is for defense.

Some 75 percent of civilian agencies are expected to be utilizing cloud technology in some capacity by the end of 2012, the immixGroup survey said.

Teleworking and mobile computing are also among the most important new initiatives being considered by the federal government, with mobile Internet and e-mail usage surpassing desktop Internet and e-mail by 2014.

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Federal IT Market to Remain Flat According to New Survey

The federal IT market will remain flat or decline slightly during the next five years according to a new survey from the TechAmerica Foundation.  IT spending is forecasted to increase from $81.2 billion in fiscal 2012 to $85.7 billion in 2017, for a compound annual growth rate of just 1.1 percent over five years.

Civilian agencies’ IT spending will largely remain flat at $42.7 billion in fiscal 2012, increasing during the next five years to $46.8 billion (a 1.9 percent growth rate).  Defense Department IT spending will hit $38 billion in fiscal 2012 and then decline to $35 billion by FY 2017.

The survey involved more than 200 senior industry experts from 90 companies and more than 300 meetings with key government executives, think tank experts and congressional staff.

“Although IT will be leveraged to streamline government operations, increase productivity and achieve cost-savings, upward pressure on IT spending will be counteracted by cost containment strategies and strategic sourcing,” the survey said.

TechAmerica Foundation spokesman Dan Heinemeier said debt reduction politics is dominating the federal spending debate.

Heinemeier said four budget scenarios were developed for the forecast; the most likely one being congressional agreement on a $2.1 trillion in deficit reduction.

TRENDWATCH: Michigan Steps Up Statewide Cyber Defense

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Excerpted from Government Technology:

Michigan state government will develop a cyber-command center and “cyber-defense response teams” as part of a plan to heighten the state’s profile in the computer security industry.

The Michigan Cyber-Command Center will be directed by the Michigan State Police from within the state’s Emergency Operations Center. The cyber-command will be staffed by “a select group of skilled public and private professionals who are highly trained in emergency response to cyber-events,” according to a document outlining the proposal. When activated after a security threat, the command will be tasked with restoring computer systems and minimizing damage. Rapid-response teams will be deployed; these squads will also help deploy secure networks and will have a role in the development of training standards.

The cyber-command will build upon the existing Michigan Intelligence Operations Center, which will continue to handle threat detection and monitoring.

Officials pointed to Michigan’s history of participation and innovation in security initiatives as an indicator that the state can take a leadership role. Two years ago Michigan participated in a proof of concept of the federal government’s Einstein traffic monitoring system that was eventually turned over to the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center. As a result of its participation in Einstein, Michigan resolved 40 malware incidents affecting 590 state devices.

Michigan also recently appointed a chief security officer, a first-of-its-kind position among state governments that will combine oversight of computer and physical infrastructure.

Federal Network Security Incidents up 650% According to GAO

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Network security incidents at federal agencies have soared 650 percent during the past five years according to a just-released GAO report.

The most prevalent types of cyber events included infections from malicious code  (30 percent of incidents); violations of acceptable use policies; and intrusions into networks, applications and other data resources.  During the past five years, the number of reported events has grown from 5,503 in 2006 to 41,776 in 2010.

The main reason agency computers are vulnerable to contamination is departments have failed to implement security controls, according to the audit. Agencies do not always adequately train personnel responsible for system security, regularly monitor safeguards, successfully fix vulnerabilities or resolve incidents in a timely fashion.