Deltek Clarity Reveals the Top IT Technology Trends in Government Contracting

Posted by Marc Holliday on September 8, 2017

Deltek Clarity Government Contracting Industry Study

Given the pace at which technology evolves and increasing threats of cybersecurity attacks, it’s no wonder that CIOs and information technology professionals face new challenges every day.  This is especially true for government contractors that hold federal contract information within their information systems. With new guidelines from NIST and DFARS being enacted, CIOs are having to rethink security plans and reengineer business processes to address growing cybersecurity and compliance challenges.

We asked the IT professionals that participated in this year’s Deltek Clarity GovCon Industry Study to share the top IT challenges they face, how they are addressing these challenges and what their top priorities were in terms of IT budgets and initiatives.  The following summarizes what we heard from these IT professionals. For a deeper dive into the results:

Cloud Adoption by Government Contractors

One of the dominating themes of this year’s survey was cloud adoption. We are seeing significant increases in cloud adoption for all types of business applications across the board.  Leading the way are Human Capital Management, CRM and Social Media solutions with 70% of these applications in the cloud. Business Intelligence, Project Portfolio Management (PPM) and Procurement are also moving to the cloud with a 167% average increase from last year. Many of those surveyed said they plan to have accounting and finance in the cloud over the next 12 months.

The drive to push systems into the cloud is driven in large part by the influx of new SMB entrants into the industry and new regulations, like NIST 800-171, that companies must comply with by the end of the year.  Government contractors are turning to cloud vendors to help them bear this responsibility. Companies have also come to realize that by achieving a lower total cost of ownership with the cloud, they can focus valuable IT resources on solving core business challenges rather than upgrading, hosting, and patching enterprise software.

Key IT Challenges for Government Contractors

An overwhelming majority (over 70%) of respondents said their top IT challenge is “Data Security”. This was followed by “Satisfying Regulations” and “Finding IT Talent”. 

In terms of data security, the top 3 challenges are: Viruses, Phishing, and Denial of Service Attacks.  Although “Denial of Service Attacks” was third on the list, it is a huge threat for companies since it can shut down their entire operation. 

“Satisfying Regulations”, the second critical IT challenge, hits all corners of an organization’s day to day business and is a key driver for moving business applications to the cloud. Government contractors are seeing the value in having a cloud vendor help them keep up with regulations and monitor systems to prevent cyberattacks.

“Finding Talent”, we heard in the survey is a challenge across most companies, not just IT. It is especially challenging for government contractors since they are competing with the commercial sector for talent they most need (e.g. cybersecurity experts) that are demanding top dollar.

Top Ways Government Contractors are Addressing IT Challenges

The top ways government contractors are addressing IT challenges are through adoption of SaaS solutions, vendor consolidation and business process engineering. Vendor consolidation makes sense because everyone does security a little differently and through consolidation companies can reduce security risk. Business process reengineering also has a lot to do with security since companies are looking to implement new security policies to ensure processes are efficient from a data security perspective. 

Identity and two factor authentication, which Deltek provides in our solutions, is a way to address this.  <Learn more about Deltek Costpoint for Government Contractors> 

IT Budgets

IT budgets saw a pullback this year to 7.4% of revenue, down from 9.4% last year. One potential explanation is the big rise in pushing systems to the cloud, which has the effect of operationalizing the cost and spreading it out over time. Where we did see an increase in spending was in the mid-sized company segment.  As companies in this segment pass the $20M revenue mark they start to grow pretty quickly and have new requirements placed upon them, driving the need for additional IT spending.

Next Steps

Follow the complete Deltek Clarity GovCon Industry Study complimentary webinar series. All participants will receive a free copy of the 58 page report.

Webinar 1: Deltek Clarity GovCon Industry Study Overview

Webinar 2: Financial Metrics, Operational & Compliance Trends  

Webinar 3: Information Technology Trends

Webinar 4: Human Capital Management

Webinar 5: Business Development Trends

Webinar 6: Project Management & Risk Trends

Download the 2017 Deltek Clarity GovCon Report