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Lessons from 2020 and federal buying season predictions for 2021

Hear how 2020’s events will impact agencies next year.

December 23, 2020

Lessons from 2020 and federal buying season predictions for 2021
powered by Sounder

A presidential election is always followed by substantial change.
The same holds true for 2020, with the added stresses of the pandemic continuing into the new year.
Technology agencies will continue to be impacted by these circumstances in 2021. But can they prepare for them? 
In this episode of B2B Tech Talk, Keri Roberts is joined by Eminence Griffin, Senior Manager of Government Affairs at Dell Technologies, to discuss federal buying season predictions based on our new President elect and COVID repercussions in 2021.
Eminence also explains:
  • Ways agencies can empower work from home employees
  • How supply chain will affect technology agencies
  • NDAA expectations for fiscal year 2021
  • What an upcoming stimulus package could mean for the industry
  • How companies can focus on green energy for the federal market

Work from home priorities in 2021

In the current federal administration, a lot of work from home provisions and policies were rolled back. With the new administration, there’s a big push to finalize those policies and get more of the workforce working remotely until it’s safe to move back into the workplace.
In 2021, we can look for a big push for funding for digital and cybersecurity solutions. Agencies will have to make sure there’s internet connectivity for devices for both students and work from home employees, as well as effective cybersecurity as people try to access information safely.

Supply chain concerns and solutions

Supply chain demands and shortages were most apparent in the pandemic with regards to PPE and medical equipment. This resulted in congress and those throughout both political parties thinking about where our supply chain is coming from. To guarantee we’re not reliant on foreign countries for our supplies, ensuring we have a readily available supply of goods in all sectors will be a huge priority moving forward.
There will be more legislation in the government buying process about where products come from. In the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), for example, we see regulations and policies that create a blacklist of countries from where the U.S. can no longer acquire circuit boards for certain Department of Defense systems.
The NDAA also includes a number of important provisions for our troops, including a pay raise. President Trump plans to veto the act, but democrats are opposing that decision because it is such a vital piece of policy making for our armed forces. The bill passed both chambers of congress, so it is expected that there will be enough votes to override a veto and therefore pass the bill, though the results depend on timing.

The focus on the environment and green energy

When it comes to addressing our current climate crisis, there is a sense of urgency from many agencies and governments. Rightly so; several studies show if more isn’t done soon, fixing the climate will become more difficult moving forward.
President elect Biden has claimed that he’s going to rejoin the Paris Climate Accords on day one. But what can companies do to help? We should be looking to green procurement and green technology and incorporating green practices into manufacturing.

Where technology is headed in 2021

In 2021, there will be a more concerted effort around bridging the digital divide. In 2020, students and work from home employees in particular were greatly impacted by lack of access to internet and devices. After this year, more needs to be done to improve internet connectivity that would provide both telework and telehealth capabilities.
Another hot topic this year has been 5G and how the industry can bring it to every part of the country. The U.S. really doesn’t have a domestic ecosystem to help build out our last mile of broadband, so increasing our presence in the 5G world should be a top priority in the new year.
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