Beyond the numbers: What does Trump's budget tell us?

Forget the numbers in Trump's budget blueprint and instead focus on what priorities and trends they represent.

In many ways, we should just ignore the numbers in President Trump's budget blueprint. The numbers will change. Defense spending will go up but probably not by the 9 percent proposed. Civilian spending will go down but probably not by 11 percent.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t value in the document. What won’t change is what the document says about the Trump administration’s priorities.

Deltek recently released its analysis of the blueprint and while it has lots of numbers, it also dives into what the numbers mean.

Deltek calls them implications.

For example, at DOD, the budget implications are an increased focus on cybersecurity and warfare capabilities. There also is an emphasis on networked battlefield technologies such as a combat cloud.

The increase in spending at the Homeland Security Department means likely increases on what DHS spends on data storage and analysis requirements, which will boost spending on cloud computing and big data solutions, according to Deltek’s analysis.

No matter the final budget numbers, the Office of Management and Budget will be trying to identify ways to reduced what they determine to be low value requirements on all manner of guidances dealing with IT, human capital, acquisition, financial management, and real property guidance.

Deltek is warning that you should look for a roll-back of IT and IT acquisition mandates. Trump’s recent signing of the law to pull back so called contractor blacklisting rules is an early example.

Overall, the Trump blueprint creates IT opportunities around cybersecurity, IT modernization, cloud computing, automation, and health IT.

The budget also has an emphasis on cutting programs, particularly among most civilian agencies.

For contractors that means they should continue to expect customers to emphasize price and austerity as Deltek called it. But performance also will be important. The spotlight will shine bright on poor performing programs. Deltek is recommending that contractors have the data ready to help defend programs they support.

The bottom line is that the budget priorities described in the blueprint will benefit some companies and hurt others.

The key is to understand where your programs and customers stand as the various review process get underway.

Sitting back and waiting only increases your exposure and that won’t change no matter what kind of budget gets passed by Congress.