The Next Government

Our new online community aims to harness the collective wisdom about how technology is shaping tomorrow's government.

It's tempting to view your organization's information technology operation as one giant help desk, focused on keeping the network running, cleaning viruses off your PC and making sure your BlackBerry works. But as Jill Aitoro reports in our cover story in this issue, that's also a giant mistake. Successful organizations treat IT strategically, making it an integral part of their planning process.

The problem is that there just aren't many of those organizations in government. Why is that the case, when the concept of strategic IT has been around for several years now? The short answer is that it's really hard. But another reason is that government folks simply haven't had a chance to learn from their peers about strategic use of IT and all of its implications. That's where Government Executive is hoping to play at least a modest role, with the launch of NextGov.com, a site that is unlike any other covering the federal information technology community. Traditional media is a one-way conversation between journalists and readers. NextGov is multilayered dialogue between and among federal IT officials, program managers, private sector officials and outside observers about building the high-performing, outcome-oriented public sector organizations of the future.

NextGov is designed to fill three key needs: provide news and information, facilitate in-depth research, and encourage interactivity.

We know our job begins with helping to keep you informed about what's going on in your world. So NextGov's staff of reporters, editors and producers-under the leadership of Allan Holmes and collectively with four decades of experience covering federal technology-will bring you the latest developments in IT management, along with tips and advice.

We'll combine that ongoing reporting with a collection of technology articles from Government Executive and GovernmentExecutive.com to create and continue to build an archive of in-depth information about the use and management of technology. And we'll supplement that with research provided by organizations within government, the private sector and academia.

And that's just the beginning of what we hope to build with NextGov. Our Tech Insiders blog will let you in on an ongoing conversation with some of the brightest minds in the federal technology universe about pressing issues of the day. And in The Forum, we're creating a virtual community where you can both pose and answer questions about any subject.

By doing so, you'll be helping to create-and reap the benefits of-an online network built on the vast base of knowledge and experience about the unique challenges of managing technology in the federal environment.

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Also in this issue, we're pleased to debut a new column by Timothy B. Clark, Government Executive's editor for 20 years. It's called "Perspective," and Tim certainly has gained plenty of that in the decades he has spent covering the federal government.

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