The future arrives without notice

For years, Washington Technology has covered the consolidation of the IT marketplace, with companies large and small making deals at a torrid pace. Often, staunch rivals suddenly become partners, and the trash talk turns to talk of synergies and economies of scale, and the ability to do bigger and better things as a combined entity.

Often, that's exactly what happens, although not without a lot of good will and hard work.

Now it's our turn. On Dec. 8, the Washington Post Co. announced it would sell Washington Technology and the rest of PostNewsweek Tech Media, including Government Computer News and the FOSE trade show, to 1105 Media Inc., publishers of Federal Computer Week.

The anxieties around the office will sound familiar to readers who have been part of an acquisition: What about my job? What are my benefits? Who is going to be my boss? Is our office moving? How will my life change?

The answers to those questions are coming quickly and most likely will be resolved by the time you read this. The roller coaster of emotions, however, will likely remain.

Change, however positive it may turn out to be, can nevertheless be unsettling while it is occurring. The hope is that the combination of these two publishing companies, both with long, distinguished track records in the government market, will create something new and powerful.

Coincidentally, new ownership is not the only change that Washington Technology is working through. Long in the works, we will launch our newly redesigned publication in January 2007.

The dimensions will shrink to that of a more traditional magazine. Think BusinessWeek or Time. Our sections will be streamlined, and our graphics will be improved. We'll also strive to provide a greater connection between our print publication and our Web site.

Our focus, even with our acquisition by 1105, will remain on systems integrators and providers of IT and IT services to government agencies. What you are doing and what is important to you is what we will continue to write about. Format and ownership changes will not change that.

We will manage our changes and move forward. Is it a little scary? Sure, otherwise it wouldn't be real change. As to what the future holds for Washington Technology,
I'll rely on the advice of social and political scientist Jason Kaufman: "The best
way to predict the future is to create it."

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