IBM’s acquisition could reshape the federal cloud landscape, a new toolkit is giving small cities a big chance for procurement innovation, and Amazon HQ2 could pose an issue for defense firms. All this and more in Public Spend Forum’s Weekly Roundup for November 9, 2018.

IBM’s Planned Red Hat Purchase Could Reshape Federal Cloud Market

IBM’s planned $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat could have an impact on the federal cloud market and agencies’ information technology modernization plans, Bloomberg Government (BGOV) reported. IBM agreed to pay $190 in cash for each share of Red Hat in a move to establish a global provider of hybrid cloud platforms. Red Hat has seen an expanding presence in the federal market in recent years as agencies ramp up the adoption of open-source software development and BGOV noted that IBM could potentially secure federal contracts and generate interest from current Red Hat users driven by its capacity to provide cloud or on-premises services optimized for Red Hat’s platform-as-a-service.

New Toolkit Encourages Procurement Innovation, Allows Small Cities Access to Big Ideas

Many small and midsize cities across the nation are home to aging and failing infrastructure, yet due to limited funding, these municipalities are often forced to make gradual repairs rather than invest in long-term solutions. But a technology firm, The Atlas, published an interactive toolkit to help cities navigate this problem. The toolkit shows cities how it can use three innovative big city procurement tactics to encourage early-stage, critical decision making on infrastructure issues. Now publicly available, the toolkit was piloted in May by eight businesses and seven cities, including Anchorage, Alaska; Camden, New Jersey; El Paso, Texas; Gary, Indiana; Imperial Beach, California; Norfolk, Virginia; and Providence, Rhode Island. The toolkit helps officials determine ways their cities and utilities can continue working within their current procurement systems while facilitating better decision making, execution, and results.

Tech Vendors Want Better Communication From State Government

According to a report published by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), state governments are not communicating effectively with private industry, and it’s costing them both money and opportunities to access the most innovative technologies. While state officials tend to think their processes are effective, vendors don’t. According to the report, attendees of a recent NASCIO procurement roundtable at the group’s annual conference agreed that the best way to mend this division is through greater communication.

Defense Firms Could Face Heightened Competition for Tech Talent Amid Amazon’s HQ Plans

Some defense companies could face tougher competition for technology talent as Amazon plans to split its proposed second headquarters into two regional sites, The Wall Street Journal reported. Government contractors such as Boeing, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Leidos have headquarters in northern Virginia and may face Amazon as another rival for tech workers should the Seattle-based e-commerce firm decide to choose the region’s Crystal City for its HQ2 project.

Also in the news:

DISA Handed Off $8 Billion Cloud Buy to GSA

GSA Taps MAXIMUS as First Contact Center Contract Awardee

Commentary: A Better Way to Buy Data Systems

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