What Do Obama and Romney Have in Common? Federal IT Priorities

3rd April, 2012 - Posted by Kourtney Wooten - No Comments

With the upcoming presidential elections later this year, it seems the nation is getting its fill of political party squabbling. While the mud-slinging seems not to be in full swing just yet, both Republicans and Democrats have made it evidently clear that they don’t agree on many issues and have no intentions of relenting their positions. From health care to the economy, foreign policy to same-sex marriage—it seems no topic is safe from a spirited debate.

However, according to an article in Nextgov last week there is one priority even President Obama and GOP front-runner Mitt Romney can agree on — the adoption of Unified Communications (UC) like video teleconferencing (VTC) by federal agencies.

Why do we say that? Regardless of the outcome of the elections in November, the federal government will still be trillions of dollars in debt and the American economy will still be in recovery. Federal agencies will still need ways to increase productivity and meet goals with diminished resources and budgets. And UC will still be a valuable asset providing cost-saving solutions the government needs.

While federal IT priorities are not expected to change with the election results, what is expected to change is the buying cycle of those IT priorities. As reported in the story, industry experts predict a flurry of hurried activity near the end of the fiscal year as federal agencies scramble to use up their budgets and set projects in place for the next few years.

After the initial flurry of activity, a lull in federal IT projects is anticipated, the length of which will be determined by the results of the November elections. If there is a presidential turnover, experts anticipate a second round of federal IT spending as the outgoing Obama administration attempts to push as much out the door as possible before relinquishing office, after which a second slowing is anticipated as the new administration moves in.

President Obama has already submitted his 2013 fiscal year budget request. The plan shows a slight decrease in designated federal IT spending, stemming mostly from the Department of Defense. This can be attributed, in part, to the results of cost-saving UC integration projects already in place within many federal agencies. With improved efficiency and reduced costs, these agencies are simply able to operate on less.

Despite the ever-changing debate in the political arena, the issue of reduced budgets and resources is one that is not likely to change anytime soon. The federal government has seen the need to institute best practices like VTC and is already reaping the benefits of more efficient collaboration. No matter which party wins in November, the federal government’s adoption of UC is here to stay.

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