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IT and software vendors – Avoid FOMO by bidding on new influx of public opportunities

May 19, 2021 | Bonfire Interactive

Computer hardware from government IT or software

If the public sector isn’t a target market for your IT or software company, now’s the time to reconsider. 

Public sector opportunities are about to multiply with recent news of federal funding designed to provide further pandemic relief for states and localities, particularly to support digitization.

If reading this activates your fear of missing out (FOMO), don’t fret! In this post, we break down where stimulus money is being funneled so you can identify untapped areas of opportunity. We also share some examples of recent IT-related bid postings from Bonfire clients to help you get a sense of the high-potential public sector opportunities you could be capitalizing on.

Digitization incentives skyrocket

The Biden government recently signed a $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan to deliver help to the public sector at the state, local, and tribal levels. Much of the funding reflects the new administration’s interest in public sector tech advancement and commitment to “making government IT great again.”

At a time when public agencies are expected to do more with less budget and fewer personnel, finding opportunities to save money and drive value through modernized processes – especially reducing reliance on paper and email – presents a big challenge that IT and software vendors are well-positioned to solve.

Here’s where IT companies should be paying attention, according to the GovTech Market Watch on Stimulus.


$350 billion in fiscal relief will go to states, localities, and tribal governments to support a variety of areas. Most notably for IT vendors, this includes investments in broadband infrastructure. Companies that supply internet services can realize substantial benefits by tapping into this funding stream.

Benefits systems

Unemployment modernization is an initiative the Department of Labor is supporting by providing states with $2 billion to improve unemployment insurance systems, enhance program integrity, provide better access to benefits, and reduce delays. IT and software companies can support state departments in improving systemwide efficiency and integrity to prevent fraud and increase accessibility.

Distance and hybrid learning

Schools faced dramatic upheaval over the past year in switching between virtual, physical, and hybrid classrooms in response to changing public health directives. Bonfire data shows that, in August and September 2020, schools saw a 122% increase in tablet and computer projects, and a 183% increase in cybersecurity software and equipment projects.

Federal grants at the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary levels will support these continued efforts. Projects will focus on keeping students safe during the pandemic through enhanced distance learning, networking, and digitization. Local education agencies will receive $128.55 billion in funding while higher education institutions will get $39.58 billion. 

The E-Rate Connectivity Fund for schools and libraries is also delivering an additional $7.59 billion to support the purchasing of connected devices, internet service, and equipment for teachers and students. All these funding streams present big opportunities for vendors that supply digital learning systems, devices, and networking in the education sector.

Public health

If your technology can support COVID-19 testing or improve efficiency in the public health workforce, a significant injection of federal funding in these areas could provide you with an influx of new opportunities. The American Rescue Plan will provide $46 billion for improving COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and risk reduction, including modernizing IT, data analysis, and reporting functions. In addition, $7.66 billion in funding will be available to agencies to increase the public health workforce, a portion of which can be used to source IT solutions that advance this goal.

Marketplace modernization

Finally, the new federal funding will award $20 million in grants to State-Based Marketplaces (SBMs) to make processes more efficient by updating systems, programs, or technology. Vendors that can support SBMs in making health insurance enrollment more efficient, profitable, and sustainable are poised to benefit from this funding stream. 

Recent IT opportunities from Bonfire clients

Bonfire clients regularly procure IT and software solutions to support modernization in a wide range of areas, from HR to medical records to finance. Here are some recent bid opportunities that may inspire you to expand your company’s strategic focus to the public sector:

Ready to bid on more public sector opportunities? Learn how Bonfire gives vendors access to over 20,000+ public sector projects per year.

About the author

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Bonfire Interactive

Bonfire helps public procurement teams reach better sourcing outcomes through an experience that’s blazingly fast, powered by peer insights, and so easy to use—vendors love it just as much as buyers do.