Federal agencies are working closely with private industry partners to embrace telework, cloud computing, smart devices, telecommunications and network technologies. But a new report suggests they fail to see eye to eye in key areas.
The study, conducted by MeriTalk and underwritten by CenturyLink and Telework Exchange, found that government and industry disagree on a multitude of issues associated with federal network telecommunications. It also reveals significant differences in priorities for public and private sector regarding the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Networx contract, general cost savings priorities, and overall changes in telecom mobility.
Federal spending overall will be a major focal point for 2012, the survey found, with a wide majority of industry respondents – 95 percent – noting Federal agencies are more focused on cost savings today than in 2011. However, only one in three industry respondents noted they are reducing prices in response to the spending crunch. In fact, 60 percent of industry respondents noted they are simply focusing more on delivering a higher value at the same cost.
Feds and industry also disagree on who holds the purchasing power. The majority of industry – at 83 percent – thought federal chief information officers (CIOs) need more power, conversely, only half of Feds agreed. According to the December 2010 GovMark Council Generation Now Report, Federal respondents more often noted IT managers (31 percent), IT directors (29 percent), and IT administrators (18 percent) as the key decision makers within the agencies.
“‘Do more with less’ is a dead mentality,” said Steve O’Keeffe, founder, MeriTalk. “Now, in most cases the federal government is looking to a ‘do better with less’ approach from contractors – it is the nature of these times. Telecommunications enable the government to do business; thus, contractors and vendors need to provide solutions and systems that not only advance government’s mission, but continue to advance the technology and mobility priorities on which the government focuses.”
Government and industry do not see eye to eye when it comes to the next big savings opportunity for federal agencies. While both agreed that cloud will provide savings, they have very different savings projections for data center consolidation and telework. Government noted bigger savings will come from teleworking (at 25 percent) than data center consolidation (at 19 percent). Industry, however, identified data center consolidation as the biggest opportunity for savings, at 43 percent. Only 8 percent of industry agreed with government that telework offers the greatest opportunity for savings.
Continuing with the focus on mobility and telework, the report found the majority of both industry and government agreed that some version of mixed-use phones and/or Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) will be largely adopted across the Federal landscape within the next two years. By 2014, 39 percent of government and 56 percent of industry respondents agreed that government agencies will see broad adoption of BYOD; while 34 percent of government and 24 percent of industry respondents believed that personal use of government-furnished phones will be more likely.