Federal agencies need to get their IT requests in early before the end of the fiscal year
Editor’s note: Technology spending in federal agencies may accelerate as the curtain comes down on federal fiscal year 2017 on Sept. 30. Government IT solutions provider Citrix offers some advice in the commentary below to vendors and government customers.
Protecting networks and data is no longer just an IT challenge, but a mission challenge — and an area that may see an increase in awarded contracts as the September 30 fiscal year-end quickly approaches. That’s the view of Mike Singer, Senior Director for DoD and Intelligence at Citrix, a company with a long history of bringing security and the workspace of the future to federal IT. Singer offers his thoughts below.
As expected, Q4 has traditionally been a strong period of federal government spending as agencies move to use their remaining funds. This is the time of year to fund and acquire unfunded purchase requests (UFRs) or pull opportunities forward from the upcoming year with unused budget, such as getting started with a cloud initiative. UFRs are requests for products needed but not allocated for in the original budget planning.
Both of these categories of projects are fulfilled in order of priority and can be affected by a number of factors including how much money is left over or how funds were moved around. With malware, ransomware, cyber-terrorism and insider threats on the rise, cybersecurity has become front and center on every federal agency’s priority list. If it is Citrix technology, which is relevant to securing the environment, those types of spend generally have priority over perhaps another. In fact, 71 percent report ensuring security of data and applications as an important IT priority, according to a recent survey of 158 Citrix public sector customers. Citrix solutions simplify end-to-end security by focusing resources on securing apps, data and usage, giving IT powerful options to control applications and data across any location, network and device.
Even though government spending on traditional IT has been down for Q2 and Q3 this year, it very well may be loosened in Q4, Singer says. FY17 may show a higher fulfillment rate of UFRs for IT companies because protecting the IT security environment has captured the attention of governments worldwide.
With the year-end spend in sight, Singer shares an important tip to help you, vendors and customers alike, take advantage of the extra dollars: Submit your agency’s request early. Typically, last-minute UFRs are unlikely to be granted due to the high volume received. Agency personnel should complete UFRs by Q2 for highest approval results.
Citrix solutions enable government agencies to build a strategy to solve the following and other challenges:
• Application and desktop virtualization to reduce costs and increase productivity
• Enterprise mobility management to enable a mobile government workforce
• Network optimization and security to ensure data is accessible and secure from any device on any network
• File sync and share to meet the mobility needs of users while keeping sensitive data secure
Editor’s note: GPN will be spotlighting government buying and selling opportunities as the end of the federal fiscal year approaches. The topic will be discussed in a series of four Use It or Lose It e-newsletters that will be deployed in July and August before the end of the federal fiscal year on Sept. 30, 2017.
Please email [email protected] if you’d like to submit a commentary on what federal buyers and contractors need to do before the end of the federal fiscal year, the federal marketplace or similar topic. Go here for a sample issue of the free Use It or Lose It e-newsletter.