Playing the predictions game

Steve LeSueur, Washington Technology editor

Making predictions is easy. Getting them right is ... well, not so easy. Just ask the guys who predicted that the stock market would reach 36,000.

But that doesn't mean you can't get a useful sense of directions and trends. For our annual look at the year ahead, the Washington Technology staff talked to experts in government and industry and found widespread agreement on several important issues:

  • As the 2004 election campaign heats up, look for Democrats to be more hawkish than the president on homeland security.

  • As a result of the ethics scandals involving Boeing Co. and other contractors, watch for the government to step up oversight and regulation.

  • The state and local market is starting to rebound, but don't expect a tsunami of spending.

  • The rapid pace of mergers and acquisitions among government IT contractors shows no signs of slowing.

To read about these and other compelling trends, just look for the Forecast 2004 logo that accompanies stories throughout this issue. Perfect foresight is impossible, but with the right information, a business plan can be more reliable than a blind throw of the dice.

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