by / December 1, 2006

In an issue dedicated to looking back at the events of 2006, I'd like to carve out a little space here to ponder the future.

For 20 years, Government Technology magazine has been a trusted resource for sharing best practices in government IT. We've published countless case studies on the application of technology to solve governing challenges. We've examined trends that redefined the roles of state and local CIOs, and reshaped the landscape for agency management and elected officials.

So what can you expect from us in 2007? More of the same, and something a little different.

We're gratified that readers rely on Government Technology for new ideas and lessons learned from their peers. We understand the importance of that information, and we're dedicated to providing it. At the same time, we see an opportunity to expand the definition of both government and technology. So, on occasion, we intend to push the boundaries of what typically appears on these pages.

Next month's cover story offers a case in point. It examines growing government support for building commercial spaceports as an economic development venture. New Mexico Economic Development Department Secretary Rick Homans announced a partnership with Virgin Galactic, a division of mega-corporation Virgin, to develop Spaceport America. The $225 million facility will be built near the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, with $100 million coming directly from the state's coffers.

Not your typical Government Technology story.

But New Mexico officials liken their spaceport investment to efforts by states 30 years ago to capture a piece of the fledgling PC industry. "We see a rare opportunity to be in on the ground floor of something that is potentially huge, and has a huge impact on the world, on the country, and certainly on our state," Homans said.

Who's to say what's far-fetched, given that "experts" in the early days of the IT industry dismissed the notion that consumers would embrace the idea of owning their own personal computer?

We'll look for similar issues throughout the year and attempt to bring you a meaningful perspective on them.

On a more practical level, we're striving to better integrate the print edition of Government Technology magazine and our Web site -- something we haven't been too good at in the past. The first evidence of improvement appears in this issue. Our Rating the States feature links to expanded online coverage of the Center for Digital Government's Digital States Survey, giving readers the most comprehensive analysis of government IT trends and best practices in the survey's 10-year history.

We hope these changes make Government Technology even more useful and interesting, and we welcome your feedback and suggestions. Thanks for reading and see you next year.
Platforms & Programs