Survey: Enterprise architecture, info-sharing to drive fed IT

Enterprise architecture, followed closely by information-sharing, are areas of federal government IT that present the most business opportunities during the next 12 to 18 months, according to a market survey of industry officials.

Washington Technology commissioned Market Connections Inc. of Fairfax, Va., to conduct the industry survey to determine where government IT opportunities would come from over the next 12 to 18 months, how government program managers are perceived, and what level of knowledge it has about the Office of Management and Budget's lines of business.

The survey also sought to determine what companies look for when selecting partners and identify the top challenges companies will face.

About 59 percent of survey respondents said enterprise architecture would generate the most opportunities, followed by information-sharing (56 percent) and cybersecurity (50 percent). The other opportunities rounding out the top six were net-centric warfare (48 percent), interoperable communications (46 percent) and continuity of operations (41 percent).

About one-third of the respondents said most of these opportunities would come from governmentwide acquisition contracts and multiple-award contracts, and another third said they would be issued by specific agencies. The remainder said the opportunities would come from both or that they didn't know.

The survey also found that:

  • 51 percent of respondents gave government program managers a C-minus grade for overall performance

  • Only 14 percent of respondent are very familiar with OMB's line of business initiatives, while 33 percent said they were somewhat familiar

  • Reputation and past performance with an agency was the top criteria companies considered when selecting a partner

  • The top challenge for contractor was to attract, motivate and retain talented employees

Aaron Heffron, vice president of custom research services at Market Connections, presented the highlights of the survey at Washington Technology's Top 100 Conference yesterday in McLean, Va.

The company conducted the online survey in May based on Washington Technology's subscriber e-mail list. More than half the 337 responses were from large companies. The rest were small businesses, 8(a) companies, disadvantaged businesses or woman-owned firm. The respondents included systems integrators, professional business services firms, aerospace and defense companies.

More than 40 percent of the individual respondents were senior executives or corporate managers, while the rest worked in business development and sales, program and project management, systems analysis, management and programming.

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