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Three Trends Shaping State and Local Contracting

Matt Ball on December 18, 2015 - in Corporate, Planning

A new report from Onvia reviews the motivations of government agencies to prioritize procurement efficiencies and innovative technologies in 2015.

Innovative and smart technology combined with efficient procurement are helping state and local government solve the dilemma of how to make key improvements within existing budgets and remain competitive in a world of rising needs with increasing expectations.

Having emerged from the government layoffs and belt-tightening of the Great Recession, the mandate for cheaper, more frugal government has not diminished. The public continues to hold leaders accountable for careful spending, reducing waste and seeking opportunities to save wherever possible.

Demand for infrastructure continues and agencies are being judged on their ability to maintain acceptable standards. The rise of the tech-savvy and influential Millennial generation is also placing pressure on government to modernize and improve how services are provided. While older generations are not quite as critical of traditional slower low-tech services, the rise of smart phones and online resources has been moving preferences toward more responsive, digital government.

Three Trends for 2016

The three contracting trends covered in this report follow from these underlying pressures toward more frugal and responsive government services:

·         2016 Trend #1 – Smart Infrastructure: The Smart Cities movement hit the mainstream, reaching a critical mass of influence and appeal in 2015. Discover why the smart infrastructure trend will gain traction and the types of technologies expected to see continued growth.

·         2016 Trend #2 – Efficient Government: The quest to find more efficient ways to provide government services extends to the procurement process. Discover how newer, more efficient procurement methods disrupt the formal bidding process and contracting values.

·         2016 Trend #3 – Open Data: The ability to connect and share disparate large data sets drives innovation and impacts how vendors do business with agencies. Discover how the open data trend is set to be a key economic development engine for vendors and new start-ups in a wide array of industries.

Agencies Need All Three Components

Onvia believes each of these three trends are important enough that a failing grade on one of them can negate progress in the others.

For example, an efficient and data-centric agency that fails to improve its public transit may still lose out in regional competition. Likewise, governments that are inefficient will end up having to raise taxes or slash services to make ends meet – reducing their appeal. And even with good transit and reasonable taxes, agencies without any open sharing of data may lose business and investment to other more transparent, collaborative locations where there are fewer business delays.

Read the report here.


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