Top 5 Acquisition Trends to Watch in 2020

With 2020 just around the corner, our team decided to take a look at the upcoming trends, policies, and budgetary updates for the new year. Here’s what you can expect – and how your company can prepare – for the government acquisition landscape in 2020.

1. Sustained drive toward cost efficiency through IT modernization, shared services, and enterprise system portfolio rationalization.

This has been a continuing trend for years. Both government and industry recognize that there are too many obsolete and redundant IT systems currently operating within DoD and Federal Civilian agency portfolios. Federal agencies are continuing to look for ways to improve operational efficiency with technology, while reducing overall spend for existing systems. In order to have a role in these efforts, companies need to first know which agencies, programs, and initiatives are funded for modernization, shared services, or consolidation efforts. Then they need to be able to translate their capabilities and past experience to represent IT modernization, rather than to just say they provide IT services.

2. Increased understanding and adoption of emerging technologies (e.g. HCD, RPA, DevSecOps, and Hybrid Cloud) as mission essential enablers.

Although many federal agencies are migrating towards these technologies, it is still important to track how funding is being allocated and awarded for these types of technologies – many agencies like to talk about adoption, but the spend does not always map up to the “talk”. While some agencies, such as DHS and VA, have taken steps to integrate these emerging technologies, there are numerous other agencies that are simply trying to migrate from legacy systems to cloud-based service platforms. If your company foresees growing their practice with these emerging technologies, it will be important to align yourselves with the technology evangelists and platform providers that are at the forefront of expediting the implementation of these solutions.

3. Continued push for acquisition standardization through category management, spend under management, and best-in-class contract consolidation.

Despite this push by OMB, we will continue to see variances of how agencies implement best-in-class contract consolidation and category management. There will be some agencies, such as DHS, Treasury, and the Department of the Army and Air Force, pushing towards using GWACS and Tier Three Best-in-Class Contracts. While other agencies, such as Commerce and Justice, will continue to use their own agency level IDIQs (Tier One). Fortunately, with the GSA MAS Consolidation, GSA Schedules will continue to be one of the primary contracting choices for numerous agencies. It is important that any company looking for prime work be knowledgeable on the preferences for each agency.

4. Deepened budget uncertainty across DoD and Federal Civilian agencies, due to unresolved appropriation spending packages and overt political polarization.

This will not be changing any time soon. As we navigate the continuing FY 2020 budget showdown and look toward the next election cycle, keep a close watch on the impact of these events on future appropriation spending packages. Remember, budget decisions drive programmatic spend, which drives opportunity pursuits. This impacts not just opportunity pursuits one to two years down the road, but also existing programs – a funded program can quickly lose funding if an appropriation spending package is not resolved.

5. Enterprise IT spending focus on DoD and the top three Federal Civilian agencies (DHS, VA, and HHS) supporting current administration and congressional priorities.

We have seen a tremendous amount of activity from these agencies in terms of contracting activities and spend. It doesn’t mean that other federal agencies aren’t spending! However, if you look at the current administration and where the priorities have been allocated, much of the attention has been on DoD, DHS, VA, and HHS. As with the earlier points, the political landscape and budget approvals will drive where the focus will be in the future. While the outcomes may not directly impact your business, it is important to be aware of them, and then pivot if it helps to reduce risk or enable growth for your company.

Want more insights on what’s to come in 2020? Don’t miss our breakfast seminar with industry partners, Berenzweig Leonard, on December 11.
Breakfast seminar