The time might be ripe for state and local

Budget woes create opportunities for contractors who can bring efficiency

The state and local sector is often the bane of federal contractors. It's a fragmented market with thousands of jurisdictions, each with its own culture, regulations and needs.

By comparison, the federal market is simple. Procurement rules are the same across agencies, so companies can count on consistency in how the rules are applied. And there are overarching organizations, such as the Office of Management and Budget and CIO Council, that try to set policies and guidance that are applied across all of government.

I’m not saying that you won’t find differences from agency to agency in how rules and policies are applied or interpreted, but you won’t find the same diversity that you do in the state and local market.

In the state and local market, you’ll find a handful of companies who have business across the country. Companies such as HP Enterprise Services and Affiliated Computer Services are major players in Medicaid/Medicare processing. But the plus here is how deeply the federal government is involved in the requirements for such systems. In a way, it is another form of a federal market.

Meanwhile, tight budgets are creating conditions that are ripe for federally focused contractors to move into the state and local market. The needs are great for technologies and services that can streamline operations.

If you can help an agency work better, faster and cheaper, you’ll probably find a friend in the state and local market.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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