This drink is on us

Steve LeSueur

Is the glass half full or half empty? That's the question people are asking about the federal IT budget.

Planned spending for 2005 ? pegged at $61.6 billion ? remains robust, but that's a less-than 1 percent increase over 2004 spending. A prolonged war in Iraq, when combined with mounting deficits, could start draining the glass.

The Bush administration is pledging to halve the deficit in five years, while at the same time it continues to fight the war and improve homeland security. So expect closer White House scrutiny of projects, and more teeth behind administration efforts to eliminate redundant systems and require solid business cases for new IT systems.

For government contractors, that news can be very good or very bad -- it all depends on who your customers are and what programs you are supporting.

For our Forecast 2005 special report, we view the programs, technologies, people and issues from a variety of angles.

Is your company's glass half full or half empty? Pour yourself a drink and enjoy our report.

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