Nazzic Keene took over as Science Applications International Corp. CEO in mid-2019, both a humbling and fulfilling appointment during a big year of transformation.
SAIC closed the acquisition and integration of Engility, refreshed its organic growth strategy that leverages its strong solutions in engineering and IT to help the government modernize, and developed a modern talent strategy that puts its employees first.
“Our most prominent achievement this year was closing the acquisition of Engility in January, and as we near the 1-year anniversary,” Keene said. “I am very proud of the success of our integration efforts thanks to our employees’ hard work.”
The team has fully and successfully integrated functional organizations, all operating units and programs, back office systems, and business development in record time. As a result, SAIC has expanded its business in critical areas of national security, particularly in the space and intelligence domains.
Plus, the expanded portfolio and customer relationships have brought more opportunities to SAIC, which are reflected in its updated strategy particularly focused on digital engineering, digital transformation and modernization.
Under Keene’s leadership, SAIC has held onto large, single-award contracts with NASA and the Defense Department, and has grown its business with the Defense Intelligence Agency and other space and intelligence community customers following the Engility acquisition, winning more than $3 billion in contract awards.
Keene is also focused on winning the war for talent, and is proud of SAIC’s renewed benefits program emphasizing flexibility.
“We are investing in programs that provide significantly more options in how our employees manage their work schedules and leave time to improve the well-being of our employees and their families while providing world-class talent in support of our customers,” she said.
And to deliver more mission-focused innovation to the government, SAIC expanded its network of technology partners in 2019 to include the top technology accelerator programs in the country.
“We act as a bridge between emerging technology communities and government customers to innovate more rapidly and with mission purpose,” Keene said.
Working with those programs enable SAIC to bring innovative projects from startups and entrepreneurs to customers while leveraging its employees’ domain expertise.
SAIC recently launched its own virtual Innovation Factory focused on rapid delivery of capabilities using agile methods and human centered design approaches. It allows SAIC to convert raw materials of tech and mission challenges into real solution in days.
Working with technology accelerator programs has allowed SAIC to successfully build tailored, cost-effective solutions that immediately address mission needs, according to Keene.
“I believe that we will see more use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, digital engineering and blockchain to advance the mission in the coming years,” she added.
Currently, SAIC is helping government agencies use these technologies to solve difficult mission challenges, including in flight operations, cybersecurity, new drug approvals, using clinical data for research, and secure logistics and supply chain.
And in the new decade, Keene’s primary focus will be accelerating profitable revenue growth and winning the war for talent.
“I believe that corporate leadership requires a balanced approach to delivering on shareholder returns, serving our customers, giving back to the community and building an effective workforce,” she said. “Leadership in today’s dynamic, complex and high-stakes market has evolved tremendously in the last two years alone. In 2020, we will take a dynamic approach that is hyperfocused on talent, innovation, purpose and mission.”