Aug 17 2022

Buying Season Means Careful IT Procurement Decisions

Agencies plan projects hoping to attract more private industry into certain technology sectors.

This time of year, as the bright colors of summer shift to the warmer tones of fall, shopping is an activity on nearly everyone’s to-do list. Buying textbooks for college classes, new clothes for picture day, fresh ice melt you may or may not use — we stock up and check those items off our lists.

In the federal government, it’s buying season too. Fiscal year 2023 starts Oct. 1, and agencies must figure out the supplies they need to keep operating, from legal pads to load-balancing solutions.

Such decisions need to be made carefully, with an eye to the future. Federal agencies are currently operating under a host of executive orders that require IT modernization; among them, orders requiring improved cybersecurity measures and better customer experience.

At the same time, agencies are shopping in a difficult marketplace. Granted, inflation isn’t going to hit a federal agency the same way it might a private citizen — the General Services Administration negotiates fixed prices for a host of necessary products and services. But government IT staff may still face supply shortages that delay projects.

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Agencies Find IT Inspiration in Many Places

The Department of Defense is designing projects related to 5G networking in ways that officials hope will attract more vendors to that segment, as well as more products and capabilities to the available inventory. In “DOD Spreads 5G Technology Across the Country," we explore how DOD is leveraging new technology to expand its own nascent networks and ensure that future purchases remain compatible with ones made today.

Some agencies have all the technology they need but have to find new facilities in which to use it. Our story “Virtualization, Consolidation Help Agencies Cut Back on Physical Data Centers” shows how the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office took recurring floods in its data center as the impetus to upgrade and virtualize servers, and to move them to a place able to handle a hotter high-compute environment.

And the U.S. Postal Service is using edge computing to make sure that the purchases you make online don’t get lost in the mail. “Edge Computing Lets Agencies Conduct Complex Projects at a Distance” tells how the USPS and the U.S. Department of Agriculture use the edge to get food and products to the public faster.

Whether you call it shopping or procurement, it’s the season to think about future projects, the supplies you’ll need to complete the job and how to use technology to do it all more efficiently.

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