There has been recent news over the last several weeks related to SecDef Gates and his intention to cut $78B from the overall budget over five years and pare-down the DoD IT budgets specifically, which are currently absorbing about $37B annually. I sure hope you haven’t lost any sleep over this… it amounts to well less than 3 percent. So, while I give the SECDEF high marks, these would not be considered bold cuts by anyone’s definition. (I don’t count the congressman or senator who may lose a single program as legitimate criticism… politics will always create disproportionate whining when it comes to cuts).
For most providers of IT products and services, this is an opportunity to posture the value of your offering as a way to help meet these cuts. Most of the world justifies the purchase of new IT because new solutions can enable organizations to accomplish more with less; this value statement (in my opinion) should at least be a secondary part of your messaging even when selling to the DoD and IC. Meeting the mission will always be paramount, as it should be. And generally, buying “the cheapest military money can buy”, would be a poor way to defend the nation. So, the balanced value statement is this: “doing more with less in the current season, will allow DoD program managers to hold the line and even reduce their spend package, if they’re able to take a five year view, as the SECDEF has”.