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CMP bets 'Government Enterprise' fits the bill

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Ilene Patrizio, associate media director for Computer Associates Inc., makes sure to cover all of her bases among information technology titles targeting the Beltway crowd. For years Patrizio has purchased ad space in Federal Computer Week, Government Computer News and Government Executive to deliver Computer Associates’ messages to IT buyers at dozens of federal agencies, whose purchasing power dwarfs that of the largest corporate customers.

Now, she’s adding CMP Media’s Government Enterprise to her list. The magazine, which launches as a quarterly in March, will cater to government IT professionals at the federal, state and local levels. "It’s a great addition to the buy," Patrizio said.

The new magazine will be poly-bagged with CMP’s InformationWeek, Network Computing and Optimize, and have an initial circulation of 47,000 subscribers culled from the databases of the three titles. There will also be a companion Web site and e-mail newsletter.

Focut on IT issues

Government Enterprise will focus on IT issues and systems integration and will include case studies on government agencies.

"Government is a vertical market that everyone will be trying to hit in the next year," Patrizio said. "Even before Sept. 11, governments were in need of upgrading their systems. As a marketer, we know the money is there, and we know it’s going up."

In 2001, federal, state and local governments spent $90 billion on IT, according to Morgan Stanley, and that figure was projected to increase 9% a year from 2002 through 2004.

The proposed 2003 federal budget includes a 64% increase in IT security spending alone, with most of that going toward fixing known deficiencies, rather than to acquiring new and improved security capabilities, according to GartnerDataquest. It’s still too early to tell whether the ongoing war on terrorism and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, which will combine the services of 22 federal agencies and have nearly 170,000 employees, will spur a greater sense of urgency among IT buyers in the public sector.

CMP views the government market as one that’s difficult to ignore. "The gap between the public and private sectors is beginning to shrink," said Scott Vaughan, publisher of Optimize, who is driving the marketing efforts for the new publication. "If you are in a government entity, you need to understand how technology relates to strategy and why you are going with a certain system."

Quarterly schedule planned

Government Enterprise projects a 50/50 split between editorial and advertising for the first four issues. The magazine will publish in March, June, September and November, with an expected folio of 24 to 32 pages. Initial advertisers, in addition to Computer Associates, include Citrix Corp., ISS Corp., Network Associates and SAS Institute.

Patrizio said a large part of the appeal was CMP’s decision to piggyback Government Enterprise on InformationWeek. "Pulling the names from InformationWeek is a good way to get our message out," she said. "IT executives [in the public sector] being targeted read their books."

Another observer of government IT spending said there’s a huge opportunity for technology publishers looking to create media products serving government buyers, particularly at the federal level.

"Using the name Enterprise is very timely," said Paul Wohlleben, a partner with consultancy Grant Thorton, who was deputy CIO in the Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton administration. "The people running the show at OMB [Office of Management and Budget] are pushing this notion of enterprise management. ... The government is looking for solutions."

However, Wohlleben stressed that it won’t be easy for Government Enterprise to distinguish itself from rivals. "A lot of these books are a mile wide and an inch deep," he said. "In order for it to work they should be reporting on, say, what kind of IT system the Army Material Command Services need."

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