Entering a Brave New World of Government Acquisition

We've covered how government procurement is evolving to meet the way agencies implement and consume technology. From agencies' use of public cloud platforms to agile development methodologies, old acquisition methods are unable to keep up with the pace and process required by modernization and digital transformation goals across government. In fact, the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act was implemented to allocate funds specifically for the update of legacy IT systems to help agencies improve service delivery to the public, secure sensitive data and systems, and increase efficiency. To meet these mandates, procurement processes and technology have to change to be more in tune with the digital transformations happening at the operational level.

The guidance provided in the MGT Act includes using commercial solutions to accomplish these goals, creating a new focus on buy (not build) for government IT procurement. But this does not mean buying in the traditional sense of pieces of equipment; it refers to the ability of agencies to utilize as-a-service offerings with pay-as-you-go models. If you combine the MGT Act with CloudSmart guidance, it is clear that the future of how government procures and consumes technology is dramatically changing.

This shift may have been accelerated by the circumstances thrust on us by COVID-19. To manage through the pandemic, many processes and regulations have been amended or allowed to be ignored to permit agencies to move applications to the cloud or procure new solutions to better support a remote workforce. It remains to be seen what (if any) of these accommodations will continue once our government and businesses are deemed back to (a new) normal.

As we transition to post-COVID business as usual, it will be important to stay on top of acquisition trends and regulations. Here are several events that can help.

  • 2020 Procurement Virtual Forum (June 9, 2020; online) - Featuring executives from DHS and GSA this event will address 2020 budget & procurement priorities, short-term and long-term strategies and goals, acquisition innovation initiatives, and more.
  • Virtual World Congress 2020 (July 26-29, 2020; online) - The annual event of the National Contract Management Association will provide insight into contract management excellence in unusual times. It will feature presentations from government acquisition professionals highlighting current solutions and allow for dialog on best practices.
  • NIGP Forum 2020 (August 24-28, 2020; online) - This event is designed for the full range of public sector procurement departments as well as a diverse spectrum of suppliers. The agenda will focus on solving procurement challenges, enhancing agency effectiveness, and strategically advancing community improvement initiatives.
  • 30th Anniversary Government Procurement Conference (September 2, 2020; Washington; DC) - GPC is the largest and longest-running conference for small businesses looking to work with the government and its prime contractors. This unique one-day event attracts more than 3,000 people, including government attendees representing federal, state, and local agencies. The event features education seminars on doing business with the government as well as exhibition opportunities.
  • Acquisition Excellence 2020 (October 6-7, 2020; online) - With a theme of Surging Success in Acquisition Innovation, this event will highlight successes of initiatives being implemented across government. It will discuss innovations that can improve every step of the acquisition process.

You can view all the procurement events listed here on GovEvents.

We'd love to hear how you are staying up to date on procurement and acquisition policies and tactics. Share your experiences in the comments.

Be sure to check out GovEvents for a listing of all upcoming government and military events.

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