There are few locations better than Montgomery County if you’re in the business of information technology.
The county is a global hub for IT, with 1,200 firms employing more than 90,000 people, many doing cutting-edge work in health care information, avionics and automated testing solutions.
Local academic institutions continue to graduate talented, ambitious candidates, adding to a highly skilled workforce that already features one of the highest percentages of advanced degrees in the country.
Then consider the support from business accelerators and local innovation centers in Rockville, Germantown and Silver Spring, not to mention the concentration of communications and satellite companies, including Discovery Communications and Hughes Communications.
But some believe that the greatest growth opportunities could come from working in conjunction with major federal agencies like the Federal Aviation Agency, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, especially for those companies working on the front lines of Big Data and cybersecurity.
Michael Simon, CEO of Cryptonite, says he expects his company to make “big inroads into the federal government” in the near future, owing to the company’s disruptive technology, which catches attacks before they start propagating into organizations.
“We have unique capabilities that help with mission critical systems like weapons systems and you’ll start seeing our product more prevalent in the government,” says Simon.
More broadly, it’s reasonable to expect the cyber realm to be the next big avenue of military operations, even as large organizations and public companies wrestle with how to manage and protect Big Data.
“Also, incubators within local universities will be spinning off technologies,” says Simon. “It’s just a matter of time before there’s dramatic growth in cybersecurity,” he concludes, not to mention related aspects of information technology.