Week 4: Breaking News
Did my title catch your attention? Good, because this week I’m writing about what the impacts of global events can mean for regulations, contractors, and consultants. I’ll be going through the different ways that those in the field have to plan for big happenings along with some examples.
One medium that current events can effect contracting trough is global threats and national security concerns. One of the most obvious examples to point to is the developments in Ukraine, which the US has responded to by placing an emphasis on increased security and creating additional opportunities for contractors able to help agencies increase data storage, move it to the cloud, enhance data security and make greater use of artificial intelligence for cybersecurity. While this sounds good for contractors, it can potentially be a missed opportunity for those locked into certain fixed contracts that run through the opportune moment, causing them to have to seek new contracts to capitalize on the work (Although this kind of situation is rare).
Another opportunity that has been researched thoroughly has been supply chain difficulties that limit the increase of costs for shipping, energy, labor and materials. This often has the effect of locking contractors into more fixed price contracts that can only be adjusted annually. Unfortunately, most government agencies will simply end up withdrawing money from money-losing contracts. Because of this, contractors and consultants have worked to find ways around these sorts of issues before they come about. Another fairly recent example was the already-present supply chain issues that were exacerbated by the Covid-19 Pandemic. These problems, combined with stricter environmental standards in response to emissions goals and the consolidation of smaller contractors that drive up prices, means that cybersecurity, as well as government contractors in general, have always struggled to predict and keep up with current events. Reading about all of this, one might wonder what consultants can do the remedy these problems? Well, risk assessment is the nature of their job, and they have access to a massive database of public information, as I have written about in previous posts. While no one could predict some of the examples I’ve used, with the data going back decades that consultants have access to, they have sufficient information to give reasonably good advice to contractors of almost every nature, even if they can’t predict everything.