President Barack Obama’s administration recently proposed a 1.3 percent increase in IT spending for the 2017 fiscal year, which would raise the government’s IT budget to nearly $90 billion, with $38.5 billion going toward defense systems.
In a report this month by IDC, cloud spending represents about 8.5 percent of all IT spending by the federal government for the current fiscal year (which ends Sept. 30), up from 5 percent in fiscal 2015.
Kevin Kelly (pictured), CEO of networking provider LGS Innovations, which specializes in the government sector, says there are rich opportunities for solution providers to provide cloud and network security services as the government is focusing more heavily on these areas.
Kelly dives in with IT Best of Breed about government spending trends and opportunities for solution providers in this sector.
What do you see as the biggest spending trend in the government sector regarding networking and security?
Security tools and security assessment services.
The government is applying defensive, in-depth strategies through methods like adding security tools at multiple levels in their network architecture because security tools can provide quick responses to new threats while hardening the network. The government also recognizes that security risks come from internal sources, including insider threats and personnel who are not applying the best network security practices.
Channel partners can provide independent security assessment services (that can) supplement those done by government personnel to identify security practice improvement opportunities as well as undetected network vulnerabilities.
If a solution provider wanted to focus on selling more, specifically to the government sectors, what is some advice you would give them?
They should consider providing cybersecurity services that require specialized security staff with expertise and certifications like Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).
Channel partners should also partner with vendors who are establishing or have established cybersecurity and networking products or services for the U.S. government.
What type of certifications should solution providers look for?
To be able to market vendor products to the U.S. federal government, there are varying certification requirements depending on the type of product and the government agency, among many other things. So solution providers should select vendors who are committed to achieving these certifications and who have products that can meet the requirements. Achieving and maintaining certifications — such as Joint Interoperability Test Command (JTIC), Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2, Common Criteria, Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) Validation — requires a huge investment by the vendor.
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