The State of Prime & Sub Relationships

For systems integrators, bringing together all of the necessary components of an IT solution to meet the needs of each federal customer can be a complicated task. Add in complex federal compliance and security requirements and the need to support the Authorization to Operate (ATO) process for your customers’ systems, and you may find yourself looking outside your organization for partners that can help you meet the mark.

This is more common than not, according to a new report “Primes Grade the Subs” from Washington Technology.

Revisiting their 2013 Insider Report about the critical relationship between prime contractors and subcontractors, Washington Technology surveyed executives from across the market and the answer was resounding: they all use subcontractors.

In fact, 53.6 percent said they use five or more subcontractors each year, and 40.5 percent expect the use of subs to grow.

That’s not surprising when you consider the benefits of subcontracting from a prime’s perspective:

  • Strategic advantage and alliance
  • Enhanced capabilities so there are no gaps in service
  • Facilitated entry into otherwise closed markets
  • Mitigated financial risk
  • Cost effectiveness compared to in-house
  • Greater value to federal customers with specific compliance needs

Because partnering is such an important advantage in the competitive federal landscape, it’s critical for systems integrators to work with the best of the best.

In the span of two years, Washington Technology saw a drop in primes’ perceived performance of subcontractors. While not alarming, the report reveals room for subcontractor improvement in the areas of communication and transparency, overall proposal processes and commitment to teamwork.

The report goes on to say that when the prime-sub relationship works, it’s a homerun for all involved—including the customer. Only 5.4 percent of prime contractors said they will use subcontractors less frequently, and the majority of respondents believe working with subs will become easier.

But the prime-sub relationship is a two-way street. According to Washington Technology’s sister report, “Subs Grade the Primes,” budgets and the competitive RFP environment often put a strain on the relationship from a subcontractor’s perspective. Moreover, subs desire increased honesty and transparency from the prime.

Primes certainly have their work cut out for them, but that’s where Carpathia comes in.

With more than 10 years of experience delivering compliant IT solutions, Carpathia has in-depth knowledge and experience with government compliance. We have a proven subcontractor track record, and have emerged as the leading provider of trusted hybrid cloud and managed hosting services.

We have built a team of dedicated, certified security professionals (CISSP, Security+, Network+) focused on providing support for periodic assessments, continuous monitoring, audits, and more. In addition to operating some of the most secure and compliant facilities in the world, we have achieved more than 50 ATOs across civilian, defense and intelligence agencies.

We also bring simplified access to today’s leading technology. Through our partnerships with VMware and EMC, Carpathia provides a one-stop-shop for combining top-grade servers, compliant storage and third-party cloud resources into your solutions.

So why should systems integrators choose Carpathia as their trusted cloud partner for delivering solutions to the federal government? Download our issue brief, Top 10 Ways Carpathia Can Help You Win, to find out.