Federal departments, including intelligence agencies, will likely have another $90 billion to spend on information technology in FY17. Despite that figure being relatively flat for the last few years, it’s still a significant pot of money. But where will agencies prioritize their IT budgets?
The Department of Defense (DOD) has the biggest purse with $38.2 billion, followed by the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) at $13 billion and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) at $6.2 billion. The spending trickles down from there to the Small Business Administration (SBA), which has the smallest IT budget at $95.1 million.
Here are a few of the technology areas that agencies will priorities in FY17:
- Big Data
As the number of connected devices increases, government agencies will want to find ways to collect and use that information. Data management and analytics solutions will improve operations, finance, human resources, and health care challenges. Data analytics will also be vital to government agencies as these tools can help respond to cyber challenges and save money—two hot buttons for all government customers. The insight gained from analytics will also be used to increase the autonomy of systems and machine learning can free up personnel for mission-critical activities.
2. Vector Protection
Growing awareness of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the need to protect even the most mundane networked devices from becoming a potential threat vector is a prominent trend in government. DHS is issuing strategic principles in the coming months to address security risks and provide guidance for IoT stakeholders as they build and deploy internet-connected devices. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has also said the agency wants a new, “lightweight” cryptography to protect objects with RFID tags and embedded sensors, according to Nextgov. NIST is asking the private sector to submit their thoughts on lightweight cryptography, explaining the algorithms their devices use and why, and their security requirements.
3. More Clouds
Cloud adoption and spending will continue to grow in FY17. The public cloud services market will hit $236 billion by 2020, more than double the $114 billion public cloud spend worldwide this year. The Obama administration’s FY17 budget calls for $7.3 billion in spending on provisioned services like cloud computing. True federal cloud spending is on the rise across civilian, military, and intelligence agencies. Look for increases across all delivery models as well, with Platform-as-a-Service and Software-as-a-Service particularly primed for expansion.
4. Software Defined Networking (SDN)
SDN will see greater traction next year as more federal agencies embrace and adopt software-defined technologies. The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is looking at how software-defined anything can make inter-data center communications faster and more responsive. With cyber threats becoming more acute year by year, SDN brings visibility and automation that can quickly shut off a data center or re-route data. This is where SDN could really optimize network performance, reduce maintenance costs, and provide greater network visibility.
5. Citizen Engagement in State & Local Governments
Citizen engagement has become a growing IT category for state and local governments. It’s a direct descendant of technologies like open data, e-Government, and mobility. More initiatives are being aimed at open data so that citizens have more access to data. Tech solutions that make sense of government data through business intelligence and analytics are vital to preparing data to be released to the public. Governments will look at making the data available on a variety of platforms, including mobile and traditional web.