Lengthening Procurement Timelines, Unfunded Mandates and Cultural Inertia Are Top Inhibitors of IT Acquisition Reform, According to Deltek Report

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New Deltek GovWin IQ report assesses the federal agency readiness and impact of IT acquisition reform initiatives

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...history tells us that policies alone don’t create change; it’s effective execution, enforcement and oversight that will produce the intended outcomes.

According to a new report from Deltek, successful implementation of federal IT acquisition reform initiatives will depend largely on agencies’ ability to “prime” their acquisition environments and policies to overcome the cultural risk aversion and acquisition workforce training deficits that plague them today. Procurement timelines are growing and agencies are taxed by the influx of unfunded mandates, many of which require systemic changes to traditional acquisition methodologies. While there are clear benefits to the various reform initiatives, agencies must address underlying environmental issues to successfully implement these reforms.

Deltek’s new GovWin IQ report, “Federal IT Acquisition Transformation” examines several major IT reform initiatives to score agencies’ readiness for full implementation, as determined by progress in planning, resource allocation, and governance policies, as well as the potential impact on the contractor and federal community.

Industry and government experts interviewed by Deltek agree that the biggest challenges to federal acquisition transformation have been, and will continue to be, change management and oversight, both of which are required to promote new and lasting acquisition approaches.

The most significant initiative, the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), will require a broad strategic shift across the full procurement lifecycle. Not surprisingly, a recent Deltek survey shows uncertainty among agency respondents. Nearly 40% of respondents answered “Don’t Know” when asked to rate the potential impact of FITARA.

Other initiatives, such as the Digital Services Playbook, TechFAR Handbook, and Acquisition 360, could promote much-needed process changes, but require more training and incentives.

FITARA and other broad-scale strategic initiatives that reshape agency buying behavior at an enterprise-wide level will have the highest impact on federal contractors.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Improved IT acquisition and project performance will not be achieved without better communication, collaboration, and transparency between government and industry. Although some initiatives cite these as success drivers, none appear to offer clear resolutions that get to the heart of the issue.
  • Many innovative contracting practices can be put in place using existing laws and regulations that could improve IT acquisition and management, but only a small number of federal organizations are attempting to use them.
  • Cultural change is a must. Experienced contracting personnel are leaving federal service, and those that remain often lack the experience to try new approaches or innovative contracting methods that still fit within current parameters of the law.

“There’s no doubt that IT acquisition reform is necessary, especially given the disconnect between the acquisition process and the pace of technology evolution,” said Angie Petty, Senior Principal Analyst for Deltek. “But history tells us that policies alone don’t create change; it’s effective execution, enforcement and oversight that will produce the intended outcomes.”

For more information on GovWin IQ and this report, visit the “Federal IT Reform Transformation” page on Deltek.com. The report is free to subscribers of GovWin’s Federal Industry Analysis program. Press interviews can be arranged by contacting Lauran Cacciatori.

About GovWin IQ
Deltek’s GovWin IQ provides the market intelligence tools and analysis government contractors need to gain a competitive advantage and be a formidable player in the federal market. Backed by a team of government research and analysis experts, GovWin IQ provides the most powerful, comprehensive, and timely lead generation and business intelligence solutions available. More than $2.1 trillion in opportunities are tracked every year – a number no other competitor can match. http://www.deltek.com/govwin

About Deltek
Deltek is the leading global provider of enterprise software and information solutions for government contractors, professional services firms and other project- and people-based businesses. For decades, we have delivered actionable insight that empowers our customers to unlock their business potential. 20,000 organizations and millions of users in over 80 countries around the world rely on Deltek to research and identify opportunities, win new business, recruit and develop talent, optimize resources, streamline operations and deliver more profitable projects. Deltek – Know more. Do more.® http://www.deltek.com

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Lauran Cacciatori
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