Historically, September is typically one of the busiest for federal government IT vendors and resellers, as the federal fiscal year ends. Federal agencies understand that they must “use it or lose it” and often are making purchases that will help them accelerate initiatives for the new year. The global pandemic, however, has shifted federal buying season and has shined a new light on federal IT priorities.
The EDGE360 team recently connected with Ed Somers, Vice President, Public Sector and Vertical Markets for SYNNEX. According to Somers, the 2021 federal buying season could be different this year due to the many changes that have occurred in the past 18 months.
“Federal buying season may be flat rolling into September versus a significant bell curve,” he shared. “Flat in the sense that it has been fairly strong year-to-date and we continue to be bullish on that trend continuing.” With that expectation, Somers questions whether or not there will be a flurry of activity typically associated with this time of year, or if it will continue to be a steady stream of what has already been occurring.
Of course, this ongoing spending has been a result of the stimulus funding that has “flooded the market over the last year.” Somers explained. This additional funding doesn’t fall into the 2021 fiscal year budget parameters. In fact, Somers told us that much of the funding will roll into next year and deadlines have been extended to 2024.
“As these deadlines approach, we will begin to see artificial buying season activities to spend that money or lose it, but will also see agencies being more strategic with those funds and not in an immediate panic to use them,” Somers told us.
So where will the strategic federal IT priorities shift? With the lessons learned from the past 18 months, many agencies have realized the critical need to modernize and secure infrastructure and enable digital transformation. Somers expects to see a push for cyber security solutions, especially around combating ransomware and end-point protection per the latest Executive Order and in technologies that improve the constituent experience. He also noted that software solutions and business continuity continue to be on the rise. Similarly, the pandemic has impacted manufacturing and supply chain, which in turn has resulted in a chip shortage. This is not only an issue for federal IT buyers but also an issue on a global scale. Somers is optimistic, however, about infrastructure sales around servers and storage.
While there will always be some unanswered questions about the federal landscape and how legislation and the pandemic will impact buying trends for the federal busy season, Somers reminded us that SYNNEX Comstor is here to help partners. “We have a dedicated federal sales team with business development support from the GovSolv team. We help partners from the bid desk to a full suite of integration and pre/post-sales services,” Somers said. SYNNEX also is on several contract vehicles including multiple GSA schedules, 2GIT Prime, and the Diversity Alliance Program to support small business partners.
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