The Advanced Technology Academic Research Center and the Government Information Technology Executive Council — both nonprofit organizations that provide development and collaboration opportunities for federal government, academia and industry IT professionals — announced their merger June 1, 2018.

“With ATARC, we started with the Federal Mobile Computing Summit and we’ve really grown like a weed and we now have several events. I started thinking about doing an off-site conference where we can really roll up our sleeves and collaborate,” said Tom Suder, ATARC founder and president.

“I’ve always really liked GITEC’s [annual summit], and their mission statement is nearly identical to ours. We’re serving the same people, we all know each other, and it made sense because they want to scale their events, too. We realized how much we have in common and it’s just a great, complimentary fit.”

According to the news release, while the new organization resulting from the merger will be run by ATARC staff, the GITEC’s Government and Industry Advisory Councils will guide its direction.

“We are excited about this new relationship,” said GITEC President Adriane Burton. “Both organizations bring unique opportunities to the federal audience. We both have something to offer, and together our constituents win.”

While ATARC was only formed in 2012, GITEC is a longstanding face in the federal IT space, as it was founded in 1966 in response to a White House memorandum.

The merger represents the latest in a series of acquisitions in the space, most notably in 2015 when the Professional Services Council acquired a struggling TechAmerica Foundation less than a year after CompTIA had originally acquired the foundation.

But increased mergers, which sound like they would consolidate power and influence in the federal IT space in the hands of a few players, may not always be beneficial, as organizations can risk becoming overly generalized and lose audiences looking for a more narrow focus.

Jessie Bur covers federal IT and management.

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