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December 3, 2007
 
 

TECH FORECAST: 2008


Don’t miss the 2008 Southeast Venture Conference showcasing over 40 high-growth companies.  Feb. 27 & 28 at the Tysons’ Ritz Carlton.  More info here.

 

As 2007 draws to a close, it’s time to look into our crystal ball for the tech sector.  These rumblings about a recession, for instance . . . is one actually going to strike?   We posed our questions to Ed Lewis, Director of George Mason’s Technology Management Program.  He gave us a bullish report. 



Ed teaches Business Engineering and Change Management.  His GMU program at the School of Management is designed for people with deep technology experience who want to make the leap into management roles.  After 18 months, graduates emerge with a Master of Science in Technology Management degree and a CIO certification issued in partnership with the Federal CIO Council.  

 

Here’s what Ed told us:

  • Demand for technology with military applications should continue from DoD and Homeland Security agencies, which are insulated from trouble in other sectors, like real estate.  The last 6-12 months have seen steady (and in some cases growing) spending on technology contracts, and Ed doesn’t see the trend stopping.  He says that Navy business in particular should continue to stay strong.

  • The dot.com bust occurred, in part, because technological advances in bandwidth weren’t keeping pace with the demand for data movement.  That condition isn’t present this time around, which lessens the risk of a slump. 

  • Miniaturized tech products (cell phones, PDAs, notebook computers that can be written on with a stylus) are becoming obsolete at a rapid rate, and CIOs continue pumping money into renewing and improving these products at their companies and agencies.
     
  • Wireless will remain hot.  Ed says that PDAs and other wireless devices are only going to become a more important part of the job experience.  When a young worker accepts a job, Ed says, they aren’t asking what their office looks like anymore (they know it’ll be a cubicle); instead they’re asking what kind of tech toys they’re going to get.  Products that allow the most seamless work experience from home and the road should be the big winners here.

  • A big coming challenge for the tech sector—and the overall economy—will be dealing with a possible imbalance in the labor market.  Just as the baby boomer generation starts to leave the workforce (the leading baby boomers turn 62 next year, and begin drawing Social Security), one of the smallest generations ever (those born from 1980-present) is entering.
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