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What The Federal?

November 5, 2021 / Dcode

According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the U.S. federal government spends about $100 billion a year on IT and cyber-related technology. Approximately 80% of those funds go to existing ‘legacy’ systems, many of which are decades-old with outdated features and dangerous security vulnerabilities.

However, a push for modernization across the government aims to open up opportunities for non-traditional companies to step in and provide new products and services that help the government run smoothly and safely. 

If you’re a tech product company looking at the bureaucracy across government agencies you’re probably asking yourself (internally at least)…


If you are, you’re not alone. Dcode’s experts have all asked themselves that exact question over the years. We’ve been through it before and pride ourselves on demystifying the federal government for tech companies seeking federal opportunities. 

Congress and the federal government are devoting recent, growing attention — and dollars — to IT modernization, turning their focus to areas within artificial intelligence, data stewardship, cloud computing, and cybersecurity.  

Just in late 2020, the Department of Defense (DoD) unveiled a department-wide data strategy for the first time. The DoD recognized data as a strategic asset, and recommended deliberate efforts towards the ethical collection, use, and storage of data across the enterprise.

In the same vein, the Office of Management and Budget (the office that manages the president’s budget priorities and agency priorities) released a draft Federal Zero Trust Strategy in September of 2021, focused on securing all civilian agencies systems based on zero trust principles.

In early 2021, President Biden directed the federal government to make “bold changes and significant investments” in cybersecurity and data processing to protect the nation’s cyber systems.

All these directives and strategies require agencies to move away from their reliance on legacy IT systems run by mammoth contractors, many of whom built and maintained such systems for decades.

Our nation’s priorities shifted with these directives, and with that shift comes a renewed need for companies who can respond with innovative technology and solutions. But how do these broad pronouncements from leadership translate to actual application of new technology on the ground?

From the outside looking in, the federal sales process is confusing, to say the least. If you’re a company new to the federal space — product in hand but no SAM number to your name — you might be wondering: “how do I even start selling to the government?” or “how do I win a federal contract?” or even “what the heck is a SAM number?”

If you’re a bit more familiar with federal contracting, you might be asking more pointed questions like: “what is FedRAMP?” or “what is a SBIR?” (or even, “what the heck is an “SBIR consultant?”). It’s discouraging how few resources exist to answer these questions, and it might seem like there’s no way to learn to swim unless you were born in the water. 

The good news is Dcode exists to answer those questions (and many more) for tech product companies in the private sector looking to work with the federal government. “Where do I start in federal?” and “how do I go to win government contracts?” are our bread and butter — and those questions are just the start.

Dcode offers education and expertise that helps demystify the government and its procurement process. We have a proven federal sales strategy to cut time to revenue, and our program is built to answer the most pressing questions tech companies face when starting to pursue federal contracts. And this is all in one place on the internet: our acceleration platform Nexus.

Nexus includes exclusive events to network with government leaders, expert curriculum designed by acquisition pros, and a robust community of tech companies, partners, and mentors to help you along the way. Think of Nexus as a dedicated, on-demand lifeline to all things federal.

Nexus is the place to be for both federal newcomers and seasoned veterans who have seen how tough getting to contract can be. The common thread tying our community together? All of them, at one time or another, have thrown their hands in the air in frustration and thought “WTFederal!?” We’ll help you find your fit in the federal market.