Friday, October 23, 2009

Global Center for Information Technology

This morning at a BRAC symposium sponsored by the Baltimore Business Journal, Tom Sadowski said that Central Maryland is on track to become the global center of information technology due largely to the impact of BRAC.

Hyperbole aside, there are some hard numbers to back up his assertion. The relocation of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) to Fort Meade from Northern Virginia puts the military equivalent of Google, Microsoft and the Internet right in our backyard. The government is projected to spend over $100 billion on defense IT over the next few years with 80% of that money going to private contractors.

Tom Sadowski is the president and CEO of the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore. Joining him on the panel were Rosemary Budd, North East regional program manager and principal with Booz Allen Hamilton, Tom Mottley with RKS Realty, and James Richardson, the director of the Hartford County Economic Development Authority.

The panel also stressed the need to attract a younger, highly skilled workforce. Over 50% of the employees relocating to both Aberdeen Proving Grounds and Fort Meade will be “retirement eligible” in 2011.

This mornings meeting was held at the new Westin Hotel at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. This was the first time I’ve visited this property and I found it to be pretty impressive.


Bob O said...

Interesting. I was invited to this but did not attend, although an associate did.

BTW, DISA is not the government equivalent of google, et al. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Why this is true is left as an exercise for the class.

The observation about the demographics of the local work force, however, are spot on and are the cusp of the matter. As the largely baby boomer government work force retires, who will fill the vacum that they leave behind? Not to trivialize the matter by decimalizing time and generations, but Gen X is off being alone in the remains of the internet bubble, and the Millenials are busy twittering and drinking custom-made beer. Who will pick up the slack?

I'm reminded of the novel "The Postman" by David Brin. The main character finally realizes that the question is, "Who will look after all of these children?"

I do know that there is a hard core of people in every generation who just get things done, particularly in America. I'm relying on them.

As usual, thanks for the post! Thought provoking, and more fun than posting on my own blog!