The finalists for WashingtonExec’s Pinnacle Awards were announced Oct. 11, and we’ll be highlighting some of them until the event takes place live, in-person Nov. 30.
Next is Cloud Industry Executive of the Year (Public Company) finalist Ravi Raghava, who’s vice president of cloud solutions at SAIC. Here, he talks career inflection points, primary focus areas going forward, career advice and more.
What key achievements did you have in 2021 / 2022?
I had the privilege of working with several federal agencies during the last two years shaping and leading digital and cloud transformation programs. I led a digital transformation strategy for a federal commerce customer to transform its vast data center footprint and leverage cloud services. The strategy led the agency to assess more than 400 applications in a span of less than four months.
I also helped a federal financial customer establish a resilient cloud environment aimed at providing mission-critical infrastructure to support the nation’s financial backbone and support disaster recovery efforts. I also worked with senior leadership at a health agency to shape their cloud strategy and modernize their systems into the cloud, which was plagued by legacy technology and lack of scalable infrastructure. This initiative helped transform multiple mission critical workloads and digital artifacts used by millions of citizens.
What was a turning point or inflection point in your career?
I have been working in cloud for more than 13 years supporting both commercial and federal customers. There are two turning points that come to mind. The first turning point came when I made the decision to enter the cloud space. Since I started working in cloud, I have had no interest in leaving. Watching the growth in this space has been phenomenal. I enjoy helping customers achieve digital adoption and providing solutions for their most pressing challenges.
The second turning point in my career was working with NASA and leading its cloud program. This was my first federal customer and I was truly fascinated with the agency’s amazing vision, mission and talent of its employees. I was extremely thrilled to start a new phase of my career in GovCon with NASA. These two inflection points changed my career forever.
What are you most proud of having been a part of in your current organization?
I am extremely proud of SAIC. I admire how the company is leading the transformation of Enterprise IT, cloud, cyber, artificial intelligence, machine learning, Edge and NextGen engineering solutions. The organization has given me an opportunity to lead digital strategy and growth in the defense and civilian sector, including state and local customers. I am proud to utilize my vast expertise to propel the organization’s cloud growth and lead digital transformation with public sector customers.
What are your primary focus areas going forward, and why are those so important to the future of the nation?
Lack of scalable IT infrastructure, skilled labor and slow pace of modernization are affecting our nation’s ability to lead innovation and transformation. My primary focus areas going forward are to help agencies accelerate adoption of cloud, AI, ML, Edge, robotics and NextGen solutions.
I also want to bring subject matter expertise and best practices through cross-agency and industry collaborations; focus on working with leading industry partners to bring best-in class emerging and innovative solutions to propel digital transformation; and empower personnel by supporting skills enhancement through organizational change management. I strongly believe that skilled labor and digital accelerators are need of the hour for faster modernization.
What’s your best career advice for those who want to follow in your footsteps?
Believe in yourself. Never give up.