Federal List: Editor's note

Lists, by their very nature, simultaneously please and irritate. For those who place at the top of a desirable list, it is an opportunity to crow about one's accomplishments; for those who do not make the final cut and believe they should have, the list represents an injustice.

We expect that the Federal List -- Federal Computer Week's second annual report on how federal information technology companies stack up in a number of categories -- will cause such reactions. The lead-off list, the 10 hottest companies to watch, is a compilation of opinions and educated guesses from longtime government and industry IT executives about which companies will most likely become household, or at least "agencyhold," names. Some of the companies are brand new, while others are well-established.

Some lists, such as the 25 companies with the largest General Services Administration schedule sales and the 20 largest federal integrators, are based on moreobjective criteria. Some of the results are expected, but others are not. It is no surprise that Dell Computer Corp. tops the GSA schedule list withsales that seem to increase by leaps and bounds. But it is somewhat unexpected to see Computer Sciences Corp. coming close to knocking perennial top-dog Lockheed Martin Corp. out of the No. 1 spot for top integrator. For this list, note that FCW included sales only for core integration work and excludedhardware, telecommunications and other nonintegration work.

The last list, the 8(a) companies with the most federal sales, shows just how much the federal procurement market has changed. Although many are doingwell, it is becoming harder for minority firms to land federal IT contracts. Taken as a whole, the lists and the accompanying features on the companies reflect where the federal IT market has been and where it is headed.


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