Selling into the government means abiding by a number of strict procurement rules around RFP submission, security and clearance compliance, and even buying lunch for customers. Luckily, in addition to these rules, government contractors can hone in their B2G marketing with clear, publicly available guidance on exactly the solutions government needs.
Each administration brings with it a new set of priorities that inform budgets and investments. As we near the halfway point of the first term of the Biden administration, there are a number of key documents that will guide what technologies and solutions government customers will buy.
President's Management Agenda
Known as the PMA, the President's Management Agenda lays out high level goals of the administration - areas where they want to see change in the way government works. The current PMA is focused on:
- Strengthening and Empowering the Federal Workforce
- Delivering Excellent, Equitable, and Secure Federal Services and Customer Experience
- Managing the Business of Government to Build Back Better
Agencies are being measured against their ability to support these objectives and budgets are allocated to those who show movement toward the end goal. Government contractors should frame their solutions in a way that shows how they will help agencies work toward meeting these goals to show their relevance to agency mission.
National Defense Strategy
The National Defense Strategy (NDS) provides context and details on how the DoD "will contribute to advancing and safeguarding vital U.S. national interests." While the full strategy has not yet been released, a classified version was delivered to Congress in March 2022 and the Pentagon did offer a high-level overview.
The NDS priorities are listed as:
- Defending the homeland, paced to the growing multi-domain threat posed by the People's Republic of China (PRC)
- Deterring strategic attacks against the United States, Allies, and partners
- Deterring aggression, while being prepared to prevail in conflict when necessary, prioritizing the PRC challenge in the Indo-Pacific, then the Russia challenge in Europe
- Building a resilient Joint Force and defense ecosystem
To meet these priorities, the DoD will implement programs and tactics focused on:
- Integrated deterrence - developing and combining strengths across warfighting domains, theaters, the spectrum of conflict, other U.S. agencies, and the network of Alliances and partnerships.
- Campaigning - synchronizing broader Department efforts and aligning Department activities with other instruments of national power to undermine competitors.
- Building enduring advantages for the future Joint Force - accelerating force development efforts, getting needed technology more quickly, and making investments in the people of the Department.
For government contractors selling into Defense agencies, it is critical to communicate how their technologies and proposed solutions address and support these priorities.
Cybersecurity Executive Order
- Improve software supply chain security
- Create a standard playbook for responding to cyber incidents
- Improve detection of cybersecurity incidents
- Improve cybersecurity investigation and remediation
- Modernize and implement stronger cybersecurity standards in government
Whether a cyber company or not, all contractors selling to the government need to be familiar with these goals and ensure the solutions they are selling to the government meet security needs today and into the future.
Federal Zero Trust Strategy
The Cyber EO includes guidance that agencies should move to a Zero Trust architecture. This strategy document puts that recommendation into action by outlining the steps agencies need to take to transform their cybersecurity approach. The strategy is organized around key technology pillars:
- Identity: Agency staff use enterprise-managed identities to access the applications they use in their work.
- Devices: The Federal Government has a complete inventory of every device it operates and authorizes for Government use, and can prevent, detect, and respond to incidents on those devices.
- Networks: Agencies encrypt all DNS requests and HTTP traffic within their environment, and begin executing a plan to break down their perimeters into isolated environments.
- Applications and Workloads: Agencies treat all applications as internet-connected, routinely subject their applications to rigorous empirical testing, and welcome external vulnerability reports.
- Data: Agencies are on a clear, shared path to deploy protections that make use of thorough data categorization.
Zero Trust is not accomplished with one technology, rather it is a combination of multiple technologies that provide the visibility, authorization, and remediation needed to meet today's security needs. Government contractors should reference elements of this strategy to show where their solution plays a role in helping advance the journey to Zero Trust.
- FedHealth Conference (May 24, 2022; Bethesda, MD and virtual) - Join senior executives from across industry and government to discuss critical policy and acquisition priorities in civilian and military health. Speakers from HHS, VA, and DoD will discuss their needs and challenges.
- For Industry: Making Market Research Easy (May 31, 2022; online) - Learn more about Requests for Information (RFIs) and how they can be a useful tool for your business. This webinar will bring innovative insights on how to respond to GSA's RFIs by providing tips and tricks from the experts on how to fill out these important surveys.
- 13th Advanced Forum on DCAA & DCMA Cost, Pricing, Compliance & Audits (June 22-23, 2022; Arlington, VA and virtual) - This in-depth conference is specifically focused on cost, pricing, audit and compliance challenges faced by government contractors. This is an opportunity to hear from senior government officials from DCAA and DCMA to ensure that you are compliant and audit ready. Find out where acquisition regulations and policies may be headed within the current administration.
- Procurement Playbook: Doing Business with HHS (June 24, 2022; online) - Panelists will cover topics including small business opportunities; acquisition forecast, and Agency/Department events; mergers & acquisitions (M&A) within the vendor community; purchasing trends and top bidding and pipeline opportunities; and winning capture strategies.
- Priority #3: Managing the Business of Government to Build Back Better (July 28, 2022; online) - The final priority in the President's Management Agenda centers on two strategies to strengthen and manage American businesses. Nurturing a culture of evidence and data-based policy and decision making is critical to providing effective government services. Experts will discuss how an agency can address what actions need to be taken to meet this goal.
- Building Private Public Partnerships (white paper) - A private-public partnership (P3) is any type of mutually beneficial cooperative arrangement, informal or formal, between two or more organizations of private industry and the public sector to enhance the life safety, economic security and resilience of jurisdictions. This guide provides recommendations and resources for a jurisdiction to establish and maintain a P3 to help coordinate mitigation, response and recovery planning and preparedness.