Big numbers equal lots of attention

Government agencies have several large contracts on the drawing board that will lend themselves to increased competition for information technology work.

As our cover story neared the end of the editing process, one of the copy editors came to my desk and asked, “Are these numbers supposed to be billions or millions?”

Billions, I said, and he shook his head and walked back to his desk.

The numbers are incredible, especially when you consider that barely a decade a go a contract with a ceiling of $1 billion was a rarity. Today that number barely raises an eyebrow.

It makes me wonder how much meaning there is to a ceiling of $50 billion or $30 billion. Why have any ceiling at all?

But the numbers reflect potential, and that potential is what gets people’s attention. For many companies, you have no choice but to bid if you want to stay close to those customers.

That brings me to a topic prevalent in the news: bid protests. I don’t want to repeat the questions posed in this issue's Upfront section, but we are in the midst of a litigation-happy market, it seems.

What is the advantage to so many bid protests? I urge you to join the debate going on at our Web site,

Turning back to our cover story, for a final word, we’ll do our best to follow these contracts as they make their way to award. Look for more articles in print and online that examine the details behind these mega-contracts.