How Amazon’s HQ2 could disrupt government IT, for the worse

When Amazon entered markets like bookselling or groceries, its competition proved highly disruptive to incumbents. In November 2018, Amazon declared that it had selected northern Virginia as one of two locations for its new second headquarters, and four months later it announced that HQ2 would only proceed in the Virginia site. The Seattle company has grandly entered yet another market, that for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) talent in the metro Washington, D.C., area.


4 May, 2019TECHCRUNCH.COM

BEAM - How Amazon’s HQ2 could disrupt government IT, for the worse | BEAM
Giacomo Bagarella Contributor
Giacomo Bagarella works for the Massachusetts Digital Service, where he leads projects to improve the way the state serves constituents. In his spare time, he thinks and writes about the impact of emerging technologies on society and national security. Follow him on Twitter @g_bagarella.

When Amazon entered markets like bookselling or groceries, its competition proved highly disruptive to incumbents. In November 2018, Amazon declared that it had selected northern Virginia as one of two locations for its new second headquarters, and four months later it announced that HQ2 would only proceed in the Virginia site. The Seattle company has grandly entered yet another market, that for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) talent in the metro Washington, D.C., area.

There, Amazon’s insatiable hunger for customers will turn into a voracious appetite for up to 50,000 highly paid new employees. One other employer is particularly ill-suited to compete: the federal government, with its centenary history alternating world-changing innovation and unbelievable stodginess, could emerge shriveled and unable to fulfill its mission. Such an outcome could have dramatic consequences for the nation’s security and public services for years to come....

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