Weekly News Kick Off: Is the Greater Washington Economy Being Left Behind? - (Archived)

Welcome to the weekly news kick off. GMU economics Stephen Fuller says the national capital area’s economy is at risk of trailing other major metros if there isn’t more regional cooperation and diversification away from government-related business. Do you agree? Other news reports that Washington area companies are attracting more venture capital. Enjoy these highlights.

Greater Washington’s Economy is “Being Left Behind”
Stephen Fuller, head of George Mason University ‘s Center for Regional Analysis, says the greater Washington economy is at risk of trailing other major metro areas if there isn’t more regional cooperation and diversification away from government-related business. He said many local leaders and residents in the area are “in denial” about the fundamental problems of the regional economy. While they see construction, he added, they are blind to some of the weak underlying fundamentals. Read more.

Last Year U.S. Companies Attracted the Most Venture Capital Money Since 2000
The Washington Post reports that investors poured more venture capital money into companies during 2014 than any year since the turn of the century. Washington area companies posted a strong showing for the year as well, collecting $1.08 billion in 196 separate investments. That’s down compared with the $1.58 billion raised in 2013, a banner year for the region, but it’s still the second-largest sum since the recession.

DHS Updates National Emergency Communications Plan to Reflect New Technology
The Department of Homeland Security has updated the National Emergency Communications Plan to reflect planned efforts to address priorities in land mobile radio systems, broadband technologies, and coordination for emergency response and public safety programs. Bobbie Stempfley, deputy assistant secretary for cybersecurity strategy and emergency communications at DHS’ National Protection and Programs Directorate, wrote in a Nov. 12 blog post that the updated NECP seeks to leverage technologies that were not available when the plan was first released.

Desktops, Laptops Remain Primary Gateways to Agency Sites
Despite evidence that mobile device use is surging, a new Government Accountability Office report found that most Americans visiting agency websites still do so through a laptop or desktop computer. FedScoop reported that GAO surveyed six agencies of varying size on how users consume their Web-hosted information. The report found that between 82 and 94 percent of visitors still accessed the agencies’ websites with a laptop or desktop. In some cases, less than 10 percent of users accessed the websites on mobile phones and even less used tablets.

DISA Reorg Aims to Bolster Military’s IT Posture
Lt. Gen. Ronnie Hawkins Jr., director of the Defense Information Systems Agency, has said that DISA’s reorganization plans aim to build its agility, adaptability, speed to market and engagement with the entire Defense Department. DoD News reported that Hawkins told an Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association panel discussion Monday that DISA continues to work toward becoming the primary source of information technology services within DoD.

How To Mess Up IT Budgeting In 2015
Two shifts have rocked the IT world: speed and constant upgrades, says Jonathon Feldman in an Information Week Strategic CIO blog post. He says it’s important to factor those in or your budgets won’t address reality. He further says it is human nature to pretend that change has not occurred. If we allow that thinking, we’re going to mess up a fundamental IT activity: budgeting.

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