One of the highlights during my tenure as Director of Small Business Programs for AFCEA International was the opportunity to work with real visionaries.

On July 26, 2018, a dream team worked together to host the AFCEA Small Business Innovation Summit. The summit focused on technology tracks that promised to be game changers for the near future. The technology tracks were:

  • Zero Trust
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Agile Development
  • 5G
  • Blockchain
  • The Space Revolution

Flash forward to 2022 and I think we nailed it! “We” included Barbara Bridges, the great late Bob Babaskin and my former partner in professional greatness, Elizabeth Moon.

I believe this was the last public contribution Mr. Babaskin provided to the government contracting community before his early departure from this world.   

He shared a vision for an intelligence network where he posted some predictions for 2025 that I included in a farewell salute on LinkedIn.

Some of his predictions:

  • Optical switches will predominate the network
  • There will be self-healing networks
  • Quantum encryption will dominate support
  • 5G will transform mobile and fixed networks
  • Agile development will become agile delivery.

In 2018, these technology tracks were considered ‘not ready for prime time’ conference topics.

Just this week, “zero trust security” was discussed in three different RFI/RFPs I pre-evaluated for clients.

What time today did you notice a TV commercial or ad about 5G?

Who watched the Starlink launch?

For all the innovation we’re benefitting and discussing now, there are those before us who paved the way. For me, and for many in the government contracting community, Bob Babaskin was a cornerstone for my background and knowledge surrounding IT and IT Security. You are not forgotten kindest of sirs.

–Katie Helwig is President and Co-Founder of Mild Red LLC.

Mild Red supports small businesses to leverage their past performance and create a business strategy that aligns.

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