Updated: Jul 8, 2019
Re-imagining Growth in the Federal Market
The Federal Government is Undergoing Dramatic Change
The federal government is the single largest buyer in the world spending more than $500B every year on contracts for technology, services, research and development throughout our great nation. While this number has been surprisingly consistent over the past decade, new industries based on the latest breakthroughs are springing up overnight while legacy industries are being radically disrupted. While everyone hears about how quickly the cab industry was impacted by Lyft and Uber, and how AirBnB transformed the hospitality industry, we don’t hear the same stories about the federal government – but they are happening. We are on the verge of driverless vehicles, we use digital assistants to perform complicated tasks, we use robots to perform medical procedures and we use sensors to better maintain equipment. All of these examples are impacting our lives, which in turn impacts policy, which in turn impacts what the government strives to offer us.
Realizing that the pace of technology is impacting critical missions, we are now seeing the federal government take significant steps to accelerate the pace of innovation exposure and adoption. Across the federal government Other Transactional Authorities (OTAs) are being used to source commercial technology faster and with fewer procurement delays seen with traditional contracting approaches. New organizations are being established to source and vet the latest technology such as the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and Army Futures Command. Moreover, the last two appropriation bills (2018 and 2019) have significantly curbed the use of Low Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) contracting making it easier for agencies to procure the best / game changing technologies, not just the lowest cost. Finally, we are seeing the government increase their use of socio- and economically disadvantage contracting channels to source emerging technology due in part to the streamlined procurement timelines these channels offer.
A New Approach is Needed
To be successful in this changing environment, a new approach to the federal government market is needed. For example, traditional federal contractors need to source technology faster, tailor innovation to the federal missions more quickly, and develop partnerships more rapidly and better anticipate changes in market / demand signals. The innovation community (innovators, incubators, accelerators) eyeing the largest buyer in the world as a potential client have similar needs in addition to having to generate results to satisfy investors faster than what traditional government procurement timelines allow. The Ratio Exchange has createdan enormous data lake of federal contractors, incubators, accelerators, innovators, market and competitive intelligence, and news feeds to make all critical information on one platform.