Changing Government Requirement For Market Research to Continuous Market Assessment

July 26, 2016
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Bob Gourley

During interview today with I’ll be discussing an observation many of us in the enterprise technology community have been discussing lately.

There is a growing consensus in the enterprise tech community (CIO, CTO, CISO) regarding the Cambrian Explosion of great capabilities in the tech sector. Although this is an incredibly exciting time to be an enterprise technologist, this explosion of capabilities presents new challenges. New approaches are needed in enterprise evaluation of new technologies. The process of studying capabilities on the front end is getting harder and harder.

There is room for improvement in many areas of this process. Vendors, for example, should consider better ways to market and sell. The old ways of seeking time on a technologist’s schedule are becoming less effective due to issues of time. There just isn’t enough time to meet with everyone.

Consider also the old approach of buying a booth at a massive conference. The biggest example of the mis-match here is at the RSA tech expo floor, where 500 cybersecurity vendors are fighting for time. If you tried to spend an hour with each of those you would need 10 weeks of dedicated time. Not going to happen.

On the vendor side, there is much more room for smart interactions with technologists via production of white papers that articulate user-focused use cases. That can show why a technologists should pay attention.

On the buy side there is a huge need for new methods of evaluation as well. No where is this needed more than in the federal sector, where all enterprises  are compelled to follow a massive codex of hard to update regulations. The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) are designed to serve government missions and do so while being fair to all in industry while preventing anyone in government or the contracting world from making decisions out of self interest. One of the many sections of the FAR deals with how to learn what industry has to offer. This is FAR Part 10 on Market Research.

The concepts and requirements in this section are great, for a previous age. Not so long ago, inserting brief spurts of technology assessment into a procurement was just fine. But today the government needs something else. The Cambrian Explosion of incredible capabilities in the tech sector means we need continuous market knowledge and a persistent ability to know what is available. The government’s acquisition system needs to be fueled by more accurate and up to date knowledge and it needs access to it on an ongoing basis. We need we don’t need periodic market research. We need Continuous Market Awareness.

We plan on doing our part to help with Continuous Market Research. You can track our views on the market and the future it is bringing us by signing up for the CTOvision Daily. And look for our online assessments categorized with the helpful mnemonic acronym CAMBRIC, which stands for Cloud ComputingArtificial IntelligenceMobilityBig DataRoboticsInternet of ThingsCyberSecurity.