Input: Technology critical to Obama policies

Although overshadowed by the weakening economy and other important domestic issues, information technology will play a critical role in President-elect Barack Obama's success in implementing many of his policy priorities, according to a recent assessment by Input.

The use of technology is a consistent theme throughout Obama's strategy platform. More specifically, solutions related to health IT, green IT, cybersecurity, unified communications and intelligence collection and analysis could get a boost in the new administration. However, any advantage would likely go to those solutions that save money, maximize current resources and increase efficiency, the government contracting analysis firm said.

"While the financial crisis will put a strain on agency budgets, Obama's plans for health care, energy and homeland security have embedded technology requirements that could represent opportunities for the federal technology contracting community," said Deniece Peterson, the principal analyst at Input.

Obama also plans to overhaul the federal agencies' performance and accountability metrics by reconfiguring the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) and setting stricter and more comparative performance standards, Input said. Federal agencies might need to acquire or maintain the analysis and reporting tools needed to comply with potential changes.

The analysis acknowledges that any new programs are likely to be put on the backburner as the Obama administration settles in after Jan. 20, 2009. But it also notes that the current transition effort has launched mini-campaigns in agencies to preserve existing programs that could be in danger of the chopping block.

"It is critical for federal contractors to start crafting plans for positioning themselves with the new administration if they haven't already," Peterson said. "Now that the winner is known, contractors should be performing organizational analysis in key accounts, assessing their technology portfolios, and establishing thought leadership and visibility among potential appointees as they start coming in to their positions."

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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