Though the federal government's planning to cut back on contract spending, IT won't be hit as hard as other sectors. The research firm FedSources says the administration's proposed budget will pare contract spending by $36 billion through 2011. But:

The IT portion of the contracted-out budget is a bit brighter, with a compound annual growth rate of 2.9 percent expected from 2009 through 2014, (Ray) Bjorklund (FedSources' senior vice president and chief knowledge officer) said. Contracted IT spending should rise from $73.4 billion in 2009 to $80.4 billion in 2014, he said.

Still, it's a good idea to pay attention to new spending priorities.

The budget picture will change the competitive environment, Bjorklund said, and companies need to think about how their corporate goals and strategies align with the Obama administration¿s priorities.

The fiscal 2011 budget proposal puts more emphasis on job creation, working families and the so-called Main Street economy, he said.

-- Mark Feffer