Expect Steady Spending on IT by Intelligence Agencies

Posted by Angie Petty on January 9, 2018

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Information technology is a critical component to enabling mission fulfillment among Intelligence Community (IC) agencies. Deltek expects demand for IT solutions to remain steady over the next five years, with heightened emphasis on cybersecurity, cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning and mobility.

An expanding threat landscape, increasing sophistication of adversary tactics, data proliferation and the rapid pace of technology evolution are increasing mission demands within the Intelligence Community (IC). Information technology is a critical enabler for a community that relies heavily on its ability to collect, analyze and leverage data for critical decision-making.

The IC consists of 17 separate organizations led by the Director of National Intelligence. Each agency is associated with one or more intelligence collection sources and often performs dual missions: national and operational-level activities. The often secretive and isolated agencies of the IC are working to build cohesive and shared IT infrastructures to eliminate duplication and improve information sharing, efficiency and security. The IC is also looking towards new technologies such as artificial intelligence and advanced analytics to manage the growing volume of data and enhance analysis capabilities.

Deltek’s recent research indicates federal contract spending on IT within the intelligence community will remain flat over the next five years, growing from $9.7 billion in FY 2017 to $9.9 billion in FY 2022 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 0.5%.

U.S. adversaries are broadening the threat landscape, and becoming more adept and sophisticated at targeting U.S. interests. To combat these threats the IC’s need for technology, tools, and information to monitor and predict adversary behavior will remain high.

Delays or changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) reauthorization, which allows federal intelligence agencies to collect the electronic communications of foreign persons, could limit federal intelligence agencies’ ability to surveil for illicit activities.  The legislative outcome could create a greater need for alternative solutions such as artificial intelligence or predictive analytics. The most recent authorization was set to expire December 31, 2017, but Congress bought itself a few more weeks by adding an extension to the most recent continuing resolution to extend government spending. Lawmakers now have until January 19th to find a balance between privacy protection and national security.

IC agencies are in varying stages of transitioning to shared, joint IT infrastructures and architectures in order to improve information sharing, achieve efficiency, increase security and gain other economies of scale. The Intelligence Community Information Technology Enterprise (ICITE) effort is central to these endeavors and represents a shift to cloud environments. Deltek expects IC agencies to continue efforts for broader cross-agency collaboration, coordination, information sharing, IT integration and to eliminate silos using ICITE solutions.

IC efforts to improve transparency and workforce diversification may lead to more opportunities for contractors in an effort to be more open with industry regarding IC needs. The IC is exploring innovative approaches to staying on the cutting edge of technology, such as public-private partnerships, setting up shop in the Silicon Valley to develop industry relationships, and fostering connections with tech incubators.  

Contracting insights and more information about the policies, workforce issues, spending and technology trends influencing intelligence agencies can be found in Deltek’s new report, Federal Intelligence Community IT Market, FY 2017 - 2022

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