Stimulus Cheat Sheet: 5 Provisions VARs Need To Know6:03 PM EST Fri. Feb. 13, 2009
Despite last-minute nips and tucks that may persist even through the weekend, it's pretty clear the $787 billion federal stimulus (slightly revised from the $789 billion reported earlier) has definite opportunities in store for solution providers with a stake in government (federal, state and local), education and health care business. The trick, analysts, vendors, government experts and fellow VARs agree, is to look beyond the actual stimulus language and determine what contracting opportunities are going to develop as a result of those dollar allotments.
In The Stimulus: $19 billion is going to hospitals and physicians who computerize medical records systems.
Hit It While It's Hot: EMR implementations are complex, expensive affairs that often involve huge updates of legacy hospital, physician practice and/or other systems. They'll be calling on the experts. The experts are you.
In The Stimulus: $20 billion in tax incentives is allocated for renewable energy and energy efficiency, and $30 billion for a smart power grid, battery technology and other measures.
Hit It While It's Hot: Everybody wants to go green -- far fewer know how to get there. Many jobs and tech opportunities will develop as a result of federally mandated green initiatives and building smarter, more energy-efficient infrastructures encompassing everything from data centers to smart buildings.
In The Stimulus: $2.8 billion is being targeted for Homeland Security programs, including $1 billion for airport screening equipment. Another $4 billion is going in grant to state and local law enforcement to hire officers and buy equipment. Another $46 billion is set for transportation projects, which includes highway and bridge construction and repair, mass transit, high-speed railways and Amtrak improvements.
Hit It While It's Hot: Everything from dispatch centers to airport department networking is going to need a steady technology hand to help spend the funds wisely. As for the transportation priorities, improvements in each area are going to include technology plays.
In The Stimulus: Billions in upgrades are set for everything from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science and the Social Security Administration to the State Department, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and others.
Hit It While It's Hot: While the details of what money is going to go to which department and how it's going to get there are still emerging, government departments will be contracting out specific jobs to make sure their sometimes-ancient systems reach the 21st century before the 22nd rolls around.
In The Stimulus: $44.5 billion in aid will go to local school districts, which includes flexibility to use funds for school modernization.
Hit It While It's Hot: Modernization projects mean technology -- your K-12 customers are waiting to hear from you.