Business Trends

Posts Tagged ‘private sector’

Study Reveals Government Agencies Perpetually Behind in Technology Adoption

In Uncategorized on March 8, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Leading government market research firm Market Connections, Inc., today announced a new survey that calls government agencies perpetually behind the curve in technology adoption compared to the private sector, and hampered in technology adoption as a result of old legislation.

The study, which explored perceptions and adoption of new and innovative technologies among federal government decision makers, revealed the perception of technology adoption in government agencies as “slow and difficult to keep going” like a vintage Model T.

The company conducted the survey in February on behalf of the Government Information Technology Council (GITEC). GITEC is a group of senior-level government executives organized to support the delivery of high-quality and cost-effective IT services to their customers. Market Connections released the findings at the GITEC annual summit, a forum for government leaders, industry and academia to share ideas, challenges and successes surrounding the implementation, management and use of Information Technology.

Lisa Dezzutti, president of Market Connections, said, “The findings show real progress in some emerging technology and application areas. But technology engines don’t seem to be revving to keep up with needs. When asked if innovations have found their way into daily applications, more federal  decision-makers compare their agencies to vintage cars rather than today’s hybrids.”

The majority of the 223 survey respondents serve in management, operations, or IT/MIS roles, with 39% of them employed in defense/military agencies and 61% employed in federal civilian or independent agencies.

Survey highlights indicate:

• Wireless/mobile solutions and cloud computing were cited most often as technologies that, while beneficial or promising, remain the most overlooked. In fact, nearly three-quarters of respondents were either unsure if their agency has a cloud deployment plan or very clear that it doesn’t have a plan.
• Forty-five percent (45%) of respondents said their agencies are perpetually behind the technology curve compared to the private sector, while another 39% say that old legislation negatively impacts their agencies’ adoption of new technologies.
• Budget limitations narrowly outpace security concerns as the top two challenges confronting the implementation of upcoming technology initiatives. In fact, 18% reported that general hardware and software updates were the most beneficial new or innovative technologies implemented in the last 12 months.
• Nearly three in ten respondents say their agencies are not actively engaging Gen Y in the workforce; however, more than a quarter are offering competitive salaries and benefits, providing flexible work environments and increased coaching and training, respectively.

Construction Market to Increase 11% in 2010

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2009 at 7:08 pm

McGraw-Hill Construction, part of The McGraw-Hill Companies, released its 2010 Construction Outlook, a mainstay of business planning for construction and manufacturing executives, which forecasts an increase in overall U.S. construction starts for next year. Due to improvement for housing from extremely low levels and broader expansion for public works, the level of construction starts in 2010 is expected to climb 11% to $466.2 billion, following the 25% decline predicted for 2009.

“The U.S. construction market in 2010 will be helped by growth for several sectors, following three straight years of decline that brought total construction activity down 39% from its mid-decade peak,” said Robert A. Murray, vice president of economic affairs for McGraw-Hill Construction, addressing more than 300 construction executives and professionals at the 71st annual Outlook 2010 Executive Conference in Washington today. “The benefits from the stimulus act will broaden in scope, lifting not just highway construction but also environmental public works and several institutional structure types. With continued improvement expected for single family housing, after reaching bottom earlier this year, the overall level of construction activity should see moderate expansion in 2010.”

Highlights of the 2010 Construction Outlook:

•Single family housing for 2010 will advance 32% in dollars, corresponding to a 30% increase in the number of units to 560,000 (McGraw-Hill Construction basis).
•Multifamily housing will improve 16% in dollars and 14% in units, after steep reductions in 2008 and 2009.
•Commercial buildings will drop 4% in dollars, following a steep 43% drop in 2009. The weak employment picture will further depress occupancies, making it even more difficult to justify new construction.
•Institutional buildings will begin to stabilize after losing momentum in 2009. Square footage will retreat another 2% after sliding 23% this year. The dollar amount of construction for this sector will edge up 1%, helped by a growing amount of energy-efficiency upgrades to federal buildings and continued strength for military buildings.
•Manufacturing buildings will drop 14% in dollars and 3% in square feet, hampered by the substantial amount of slack manufacturing capacity.
•Public works construction is expected to rise 14%, given more wide-ranging strength across all project types.
•Electric utility construction will slip 3%, continuing to settle back after a record high in 2008.
 
The 2010 Construction Outlook was presented at the McGraw-Hill Construction Outlook Executive Conference in Washington, DC, which brought together top management from all parts of the construction industry including firms involved in building product manufacturing, architecture and design, contracting, engineering, industry associations and other industry professionals. At the event, Frank Giunta of Hill International and George Pierson of Parsons Brinckerhoff offered insights to an industry emerging from the crisis:

“The stimulus funds are meant to be just that, a stimulus, not the be-all-end-all answer to infrastructure financing,” said Frank J. Giunta, senior vice president and managing director of Hill International. “Both public and private sectors need to be innovative and rewrite the rules of project finance to address tremendous construction needs with minimal financing options.”

“The efforts of the federal agencies at transparency and their willingness to engage with private industry is refreshing,” said George J. Pierson, chief operating officer, Parsons Brinckerhoff. “We have to work together to meet the challenges of infrastructure and this economy.”

Related Links
McGraw-Hill Construction full report: 2010 Construction Outlook.
IBISWorld industry report: Heavy Infrastructure Construction in the U.S.

Only 1% Of Stimulus Money Helping 95% Of American Firms

In economy, Uncategorized on June 25, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Quick fact: the U.S. Census Bureau states that 98% of all U.S. firms have less than 100 employees, and approximately 25 million firms fall into that category. These firms employ over 55% of the private sector workforce and are responsible for over 95% of all new jobs created in America.

The American Small Business League (ASBL) has found of the $2.7 trillion that has been allocated so far to stimulate the national economy, only $21 billion, or less than 1% of the funds have directly gone to small businesses.

The remainder of the funds that were allocated to businesses wound up in the hands of the top 1% of U.S. firms. President Obama has promised to create up to 4.1 million jobs. Census data indicates the top 1% of U.S. firms have not created one net new job since 1977.

That aside, Los Angeles based industry research firm IBISWorld found that commercial bankruptcies nearly doubled in March of this year since last year’s figures.

“We can expect the current upward trend in business bankruptcy filings over the first half of the year to continue this year,” said George Van Horn, senior analyst at IBISWorld.

There is evidence to suggest the economic stimulus plan is actually harming small businesses. The Wall Street bailout bills were touted as being essential to increasing access to capital for small businesses. Some of the firms that received billions in federal tax dollars are actually cutting access to capital for small businesses. A story in BusinessWeek reported that JPMorgan Chase, one of the largest recipients of the bailout funds, reduced the flow of credit lines for small businesses.

Section 107 of the original Wall Street bailout bill gave the Treasury Secretary the power to waive any provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) he chooses. Paragraph 9 (b) of the bill specifically mentions the waiver of “any provision of the Federal Acquisition Regulations pertaining to minority contracting” and the waiver of provisions pertaining to “woman-owned businesses.”

The Obama Administration is supporting a new bill in Congress that could dismantle existing federal economic stimulus programs for small businesses by changing the federal definition of a small business. The new definition will allow many of the nations wealthiest venture capitalists to take billions of dollars in federal contracts previously earmarked for small businesses.

In February of 2008 President Obama stated, “It is time to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants.” To date, the President has refused to adopt any policy to honor that campaign promise. A series of federal investigations discovered that billions of dollars in federal small business contracts are being diverted to Fortune 1000 firms.