The finalists for WashingtonExec’s Chief Officer Awards were announced March 17, and we’ll be highlighting some of them until the event takes place live, in-person May 10.
Next is Chief Information Officer finalist in the Private Company category Mike Uster, CIO and senior vice president at ManTech. Here, he talks about recent key achievements, proud organizational moments and more.
What key achievements did you have in 2022/2023?
In 2022 and 2023, I led four significant achievements: Enterprise Zero Trust Automation; Hyperautomation to reduce administrative tasks and accelerate DevSecOps delivery; implementation of Google Workspace; and implementation of Bespoke Enterprise AI in Q2.
We completed ZT implementation across 14,000 endpoints/servers, four data centers, six cloud service providers, 80 locations, 350 development enclaves and 12,000 employees, subs and customers with no technical debt and a 12% reduction in IT spend over a two-year period.
Our hyperautomation program will cut administrative tasks by 20 FTE hours per year through robotic process automation. Next it will build a fully-automated software factory for DevOps that will drive leading solutions for our customers and a key industry first ⏤ a Zero Trust software factory compliant with NIST 800-171 standards, all in a hyperautomated platform.
Another first for this industry: implementing Google Workspace for all 10,000 ManTech employees.
Looking ahead, our coming Bespoke Enterprise AI platform will empower employees with AI to query and learn ManTech data sources securely within our Zero Trust environment.
What has made you successful in your current role?
On Jan. 1, 2023 I was promoted with the dual role of both CIO and CTO to advocate a “proven at ManTech first” approach to innovation and game-changing solutions for our customers. Direct proof of this approach is noted in my four key milestone “firsts” ⏤ 100% Zero Trust, Google Workspace, Hyperautomation and the upcoming Bespoke Enterprise AI. Proven success in these areas speaks volumes to our customers who seek a proven approach to Zero Trust, Google Workspace or automation projects.
What has made me successful to be able to have such a complex dual-hatted role is my staff. I am fortunate to have six direct reports who are all “CIO material” and will one day become CIOs or hold similar positions. My direct staff has full autonomy on budget management, vendor management, resource and project management. Because my team thrives with the scope of their responsibilities, I am free to represent ManTech with customers and drive real technology solutions that demonstrate “proven here first.”
What are you most proud of having been a part of in your current organization?
In June 2022 I reorganized the entire enterprise IT department into a technology leaning change management-driven organization. Because of our internal IT and management talent, I was able to reduce my span of control to six direct reports who would then be focused in the following areas: Office of the CIO (OCIO), Business Systems, Service Delivery, Cloud Services, Zero Trust Engineering & Infrastructure and Cybersecurity Services (CISO function). I am most proud of mentoring the six individuals to be able to be wholly autonomous and eventually, if they desire, become CIOs in their future.