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Gigi Schumm, vice president and general manager, public sector, Symantec, agreed that the sequestration issue was a big question mark for everyone involved in federal IT.
"President Obama has come out and said he doesn't want sequestration to happen," Schumm said. "Sequestration is just a huge distraction and stops [businesses] from performing their real mission."
Van Ristau, CTO of DLT Solutions, a Herndon, Va.-based solution provider, said there's too much at stake for the government not to ably head off sequestration.
"How they're going to come up with the pluses and minuses of what they need to hit, I don't know. We're going to have to have some tax revenues from somewhere," Ristau said. "But they'll figure out a way. I just don't believe we'll get to that point. There's too much to lose and not enough to gain. Congress won't let it get that far before accommodations are made."
Regardless of political leanings, Symantec and its partners don't see drastic change on the federal IT horizon as Obama begins a second term.
"I don't think the election results will significantly affect federal IT business but it's too early to know," said Steve Tiches, national sales director for Intuitive Technology Group, a Bloomington, Minn.-based solution provider. "This administration is obviously more comfortable with a bigger government, so a lot of agencies are probably pretty hopeful that there'll be additional room to spend."
"I don't think we will see major changes," said Symantec's Schumm. "Both Obama and Mitt Romney had said that cybersecurity was a priority, and we've had the opportunity to see that it has been a priority for President Obama, so I expect that to continue. Obama has also shown under his administration that's he's interested in private/public partnership, so I think that's a good thing."
Eric Wilson, director of sales for Emergent, a Vienna, Va.-based solution provider, said customers are holding on to budget dollars a little longer than usual given the financial uncertainty but that would be a likely outcome regardless of an administration change.
"I think to a large degree we'll have more of the same and start to see more budgets cut year-over-year," Wilson said. "What that'll do for customers is make them more creative and explore different ways to acquire technology and utilize things like infrastructure-as-a-service. The budget perspective is making people more conservative and go after it with a 'must-have' versus a 'nice-to-have' mindset."
Mike Maxwell, national director, U.S. State and Local Government and Education Sales, Symantec, said that at the state level, four more years of an Obama Administration means SLED-based technology buyers will hesitate less in investments such as health information exchanges (HIE) because Obama's legislative priorities are likely preserved.
"There was still some caution with the states around the health initiatives in things like HITECH, where they were waiting to see if the administration would be around. They were moving slowly waiting to see how things were going to play out," Maxwell said. "For our customers that's probably the biggest impact of the election. Folks on the fence now are looking to proceed."
"I don't think the administration will make that big a difference to the IT market," said Toby Zellers, vice president, strategy and solutions for TVAR Solutions, a McLean, Va.-based solution provider. "Most of the political conversation and political emphasis is on general budgetary issues. But in terms of technology, we know what we're getting and what the priorities are."