According to a new report from Deltek – Emerging Federal Technology Markets, 2015 – there are three major technology areas poised for growth within federal IT investments over the next several years:
- sensor-based technologies related to Internet of Things (IoT), Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Cyber Physical Systems (CPS)
- Software-defined Infrastructure (SDI)
- Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning
Agencies are laying the groundwork to enable these types of advanced solutions by expanding wireless networks, implementing cloud computing platforms, deploying standardized, commodity hardware, and engineering Internet Protocol-based transport networks.
Although many of these emerging solutions are already in limited use within federal agencies, the potential for broader implementation is high. The report analyzes the trends, initiatives, major programs, and policies that contractors will need to know to position themselves to take advantage of evolving agency interest in these technologies.
The common thread driving the future of these emerging technologies is data proliferation. Agencies are experiencing exponential growth in their structured and unstructured data. The complexity of mission goals requires more robust solutions to collect, use and share larger volumes of data, more robust infrastructure to transport data, and better tools to analyze data.
IoT, M2M and CPS
Digitalization and the proliferation of sensor technologies have created a world where the virtual and physical are converging to produce new functional models. The IoT, M2M and CPS are all flavors of sensor technologies that enable communication between embedded sensor devices or between those devices and the physical environment. The IoT expands on M2M with IP-based technology that integrates machine and sensor data across the enterprise for decision-making. This network of interconnected people, products and processing presents almost limitless data sources that can be leveraged to support mission objectives, from intelligence and national security to weather monitoring. Early adopters include the Navy, Air Force and the General Services Administration (GSA).
Software-defined Infrastructure (SDI) consists of computing, transport and storage technologies that are coordinated and controlled via software. This approach enables the rapid and automated dedication of IT with no human intervention. Most agencies have SDI on their radar, given that their cloud computing investments lay the groundwork for future SDI implementation. With SDI, agencies could reduce their hardware costs, reduce operating costs, improve network speed and enhance security.
Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning
Predictive analytics and machine learning will be driven by agencies’ needs for deeper data analysis to improve strategic and operational decision-making. As part of the federal government’s increasing interest in big data solutions, predictive analytics software allows agencies to extract data from numerous data sets to determine patterns and/or predict potential outcomes. Machine learning takes this a step further and not only automates the creation of predictive analytical models, but also leverages algorithms that allow machine-based systems to “learn” or improve upon their response capabilities without human intervention.
Contract spending patterns show that predictive analytics is the most mature of the emerging technology markets examined in the report, however progress in SDI could be the key for progress in the others as well. “Software-defined networks could be the key to agencies’ ability to eliminate the network bottlenecks that will undoubtedly result from the large onslaught of data expected from future systems,” said Alex Rossino, Research Analyst at Deltek.
There are challenges that agencies must overcome in order to take advantage of these solutions in the future. Budget constraints will set the pace of investment in emerging technology, but agencies must also develop or acquire the skillsets required to manage these future environments. Agencies are currently seeking early development support through R&D and infrastructure modernization contracts, but GSA is planning ahead and establishing long-term contracts that will provide a mechanism for agencies to obtain contractor expertise when these technologies gain speed.
“GSA is getting ahead of the game by incorporating sensor technologies, SDI, predictive analytics and machine learning in upcoming contracts such as Alliant 2 and those related to GSA’s Network Services 2020 strategy,” saidJohn Slye, Research Analyst at Deltek. “If agencies can develop the budgetary and programmatic strategies to incorporate these technologies in the future, there will be contracts in place to give contractors access to those opportunities.”
For more information on the Emerging Federal Technology Markets, 2015 report, visit Deltek.com/govwin. The report is free to subscribers of GovWin’s Federal Industry Analysis program.
Deltek is the leading global provider of enterprise software and information solutions for professional services firms and government contractors. For decades, we have delivered actionable insight that empowers our customers to unlock their business potential. 18,000 organizations and 2 million users in over 80 countries around the world rely on Deltek to research and identify opportunities, win new business, optimize resources, streamline operations, and deliver more profitable projects. Deltek – Know more. Do more.
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