award winner in last fall's Apps for Democracy contest hosted by the District of Columbia. The contest challenged participants to build mash-up applications that use data released in real time by the Washington, D.C., government.

"I don't see [change] happening, though, in existing departments like the Department of Defense or the CIA," Koelkebeck said. "If they created a new department within the Secretary of Technology and were willing to bring in younger people and cherry-pick people from other agencies, then maybe getting that new blood in there would change technology's role in government."

 

Seeing Is Believing

Promising and believing in change is one thing; making change happen is a horse of a different color. As of press time, the world is reacting to a new, ugly visage of terrorism in Mumbai, India. At home, the president-elect is making a play for a Lincoln-esque Cabinet by surrounding himself with top-level advisers who together offer tremendous promise, but whose egos may make the road to change a difficult one. Even if these issues prove to be nonfactors, economic upheaval still threatens to derail the best-laid plans.

But should Obama emerge from his first 100 days relatively unscathed, there seems to be plenty of optimism that the nation's technology infrastructure will receive a much-needed shot in the arm. For those in the government IT community, there's much to look forward to -- believe it or not.

Chad Vander Veen  |  Associate Editor
Matt Williams  |  Associate Editor