Look beyond deadline mania

Whenever there is a looming deadline, such as as Homeland Security Presidential
Directive 12 two years ago and IPv6 this June, my mind goes back to 1999 and
the Year 2000 date change.

There was real urgency behind that deadline. Things
had to get done. Agency score cards came into vogue in
the run-up to Dec. 31, 1999, when computer clocks
would click to double zero.

With IPv6, the feeling is different. The fear of catastrophe
is missing. Some agencies have already satisfied
the requirements to comply with the June deadline to
make their backbone networks IPv6-compliant. Other
agencies will probably just squeak
by.

But as Staff Writer Doug Beizer
explains in our cover story, the real
excitement with IPv6 isn't the deadline,
it is what comes afterward.

As IPv6 expands beyond the backbone,
contractors must be deft at
explaining the art of the possible to
their customers. They must have a
vision of what government operations can be when nearly any device or piece of
equipment can have an IP address.

Yes, there are security concerns to address and challenges of managing dualstack
networks running IPv4 and IPv6 to face. But the promise of IPv6 is great.
Beizer's article is part of a package of coverage that includes stories in both of
our sister publications ? Government Computer News and Federal Computer
Week. Each publication looks at IPv6 from its unique perspective.
The entire package and more is available on our Web site.

In the meantime, keep your eye on those deadlines, but don't forget to look
beyond them.

About the Author

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

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