Even before this budget, the White House has come up with a means to shine a spotlight on the performance of federal IT department. It created an "IT dashboard" that rates IT projects and their performance at various agencies.
The reason for this Scarlett Letter-like attention, Peterson said, is that an IT failure at a private company could put a firm out of business, but "the ramifications of failure are not as pronounced in government," hence the approach is "is kind of embarrassing agencies to perform."
If agencies can't increase spending easily, some IT vendors may be under pressure to cut their costs as well. Other vendors may see new opportunity to sell product.
Ken Powell, president of North American Operations at Micro Focus Ltd., said he is hopeful that the government's direction will expand interest in his products that enable users to migrate mainframe applications to other platforms to reduce costs. "In our economic climate and there is one thing that you have to focus on it's not saving costs, its' avoiding cost," he said.
Patrick Thibodeau covers SaaS and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld . Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov , send e-mail to email@example.com or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed .
Read more about it in government in Computerworld's IT in Government Knowledge Center.