2013 Budget – Savings down the Road?




Written by Tod Tompkins

Ah, the 2013 Budget. It’s been a compelling read. I think the lead paragraph in Federal Computer Week’s coverage of the budget announcement pretty much sums it all up – “The Obama administration proposes a slight decrease in federal IT spending in 2013, with many of its funded projects aimed at realizing further savings down the road.”

Further savings down the road? This obviously is in reference to the current focus on future cost savings through mandated initiatives such as cloud computing, virtualization and data center consolidation. These types of programs are important and will eventually result in greater efficiencies and significant cost savings…but when? Three, four, five years “down the road?” I know I might be starting to sound like a broken record, but what about the importance of near-term cost savings – tangible activities that will drive down the deficit this year and next.

One positive aspect to the 2013 budget as called out by Federal Computer Week in that same article is that “…many of the IT projects highlighted in the budget apparently received support because of their potential to improve the efficiency of agency operations by modernizing and enhancing existing systems.” This is a critical component to the budget that has the potential to address those near-term savings concerns. If done properly, modernizing or migrating legacy systems to newer platforms will, undoubtedly, help cut costs in year one or year two – laying the groundwork for the other “down the road” activities to take shape and helping the government to maintain a consistent level of savings for years to come.

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