Nick Wakeman

COMMENTARY

Finding our way, 10 years later

As we planned for this issue, we knew we had to some way address the 10th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. The question was how.

As our cover states, it was a day that changed everything. Nearly everyone can recall where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. I was driving to work.

This is an event rich in personal stories, and we wrote about those in our issue that marked the first anniversary. Looking back at that issue, it was a poignant reminder of how raw the emotions were in that first year. I feel that work still holds up, and we didn’t want to do the same stories again.

Our approach this time around was to examine how the market is different because of Sept. 11. That kind of story is Washington Technology’s strength — taking major events and trends and explaining what they mean to people trying to win business in today’s market.

We spoke to a variety of people intimately involved in the market from a variety of angles — operations, finance and policy — to get their views. I think you’ll find the observations insightful and valuable in understanding where we are in today’s market, how we got here, and where we are headed.

Not surprisingly, the role contractors play in the mission of government has grown, and despite the rhetoric, the role is unlikely to diminish. It will change and evolve, but it will not go away.

The reason why is not greed or corruption but the simple fact that the nature of the problems and priorities of the government are highly complex and demand highly technical solutions. There isn’t enough of that expertise resident in government agencies to get the job done. The technology and the threats evolve too quickly for the government to keep up, so contractors will continue to play a vital role.

And that is one of the lasting legacies of Sept. 11.

In keeping with our mission of helping you understand what is going on in the market, we also have a story analyzing the latest small-business statistics and where the government is putting its emphasis.

Another story offers advice and insights on hiring a banker. A third story is a profile of a temp agency with a twist: It hires out retired CEOs to help government agencies.

With this issue, we try to remember and move forward. And as always, we offer condolences and respect to the lives lost and families left behind.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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