Don’t let the plethora of familiar names on the 2010 Top 100 lull you into thinking the federal contracting market is stagnant. If anything, the opposite is true.
Some of the biggest names, notably BAE Systems Inc., General Dynamics Corp. and Science Applications International Corp. are in the middle of major transitions as new leaders take the helm. Northrop Grumman Corp. is on the verge of a cross-country move of its corporate headquarters.
Meanwhile, all the companies are facing opportunities and challenges that are affecting the way they do businesses and how they serve their customers.
Tight budgets, new procurement policies, evolving customer demands and a still-shaky economy have companies up and down in the Top 100 making adjustments, whether they are acquisitions, restructurings or new offerings for customers.
The list also showcases the range of companies that sell high-tech products and services to the government market, from traditional systems integrators and information technology services providers to telecommunications and research and development companies.
The Top 100, created through an analysis of government procurement data by market research firm Eagle Eye Publishers, captured a total of $129.9 billion in prime contracts during fiscal 2009, compared with $119.6 billion last year.
The biggest challenge most often cited by executives with Top 100 companies is the federal budget and the deficit. All are expecting Congress and the administration to make tough decisions on what gets funded and what doesn’t.
The tight budget is driving two types of reactions from companies as they adjust strategies to make their businesses grow.
For some, it is paramount to align company capabilities and lines of business with the government’s priorities.
“You really need clarity of what you are trying to accomplish,” said Mac Curtis, chief executive officer of Vangent Inc., No. 57 on the Top 100 list.
For Vangent, that means focusing on education and health care information systems and constantly asking, “Is this what our customer needs?” Curtis said.
Many companies on the Top 100 are focusing on opportunities in cybersecurity, health care, intelligence, energy, education, and command-and-control systems, executives said.
“We have been shifting our investments and approach in the past 12 to 18 months in response to new government priorities and long-term drivers,” said Jim Sheaffer, president of public sector at Computer Sciences Corp., No. 10.
Cybersecurity, data center consolidation, health IT, training and simulation are among the priorities CSC is pursuing, he said.
“It always goes back to clients and requirements,” said Paul Cofoni, CEO of CACI International Inc., No 16 on the Top 100.
Although the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have fueled growth in this area, the opportunities for intelligence and command-and-control systems are not expected to dry up as those conflicts wind down.