For Government, It’s Already 2021

With many people in a rush to put 2020 behind us, those of us in the government market can safely say we're operating like it's 2021 (not as fun as partying like it's 1999, but anything beats 2020, right?). While the rush to meet the deadline for federal government fiscal year (GFY) spending on September 30 may have felt oddly comforting in its familiarity, there are many changes happening in government acquisition and procurement to make processes more responsive to today's workforce and technology needs.

The use of automation is expanding beyond using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to handle rote, repetitive tasks. RPA has been incredibly beneficial for freeing up the time of acquisition professionals to focus on innately human activities, rather than administrative tasks. Now, acquisition groups are going a step further and introducing Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve processes by tapping into all of the data available in acquisition systems. For example, GSA uses an AI-enabled bot to "track, find and change Section 508 disability clauses in contracts." This helps ensure compliance, feeding updated clauses to humans for final review.

In September, the Department of Defense (DOD) issued Directive 5000.01, an update to the 5000 series instructions that focuses on the roles and responsibilities for its acquisition process in an effort to simplify the buying process. The end goal of this simplification is to get technology in the hands of the warfighter faster.

To keep up with the evolution of procurement in 2021, we recommend checking out some of these events.

  • 2020 PSC Annual Conference (October 21-23, 2020; virtual) - Attendees from the government contracting community will be joined by government and industry leaders to address current issues facing the government professional and technology services industry. This event provides an in-depth and comprehensive look at the priorities and challenges in the government market for the coming year.
  • Gartner Supply Chain Symposium | Xpo (November 3-5, 2020; virtual) - With more and more focus on the supply chain as part of secure government procurement, this event provides insights, strategies and frameworks to build agility and robustness into systems, processes and decision making as it relates to procurement processes and planning.
  • Senior Government Executive Forum ft. the InnovateIT Awards (November 5, 2020; virtual) - Young AFCEA Bethesda brings together senior and emerging government IT leaders with industry to examine innovative technologies, techniques, and acquisition practices used to create a secure, modern, and responsive enterprise. In each breakout, a senior government executive and emerging government leader will be paired together for an insightful industry-moderated discussion around one of these critical topic areas: Cybersecurity, Digital Transformation, Data and Analytics, or Enterprise Risk Management.
  • 39th Annual Government Contract Management Symposium (GCMS) (December 3-4, 2020; virtual) - This 39th annual event is focusing on "The Path to Resilience. "The symposium will allow attendees to share the innovations our community developed in crisis mode and discuss how to apply them to drive recovery and build resilience. Discussions will also include new and ongoing challenges while learning about unique solutions in progress, and acquire the skills and capabilities that we will need in our new environment.

You can search more acquisition and procurement-related events on our site. Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments!

Be sure to check out GovEvents for a complete listing of virtual events, webinars, and a library of on-demand events.

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