President John Heneghan and his team at ECS are working to help the government solve complex challenges with advanced technology, science and engineering solutions.
Increasingly, those hurdles are around the best use of the mountain of information on hand. Agencies are “overloaded with data, and intuitively know there is potential to harness the data to advance their mission more effectively and efficiently. But it is an overwhelming task,” Heneghan said.
Agencies may struggle to ingest and share data meaningfully while also protecting it. ECS is working to help close that gap.
ECS has delivered “innovative distributed data management techniques and true data mesh capabilities to help solve this challenge,” he said. “We have been at the forefront of AI and AI integration as the prime contractor on Project Maven for over six years.”
That engagement has led to the deployment of hundreds of operational AI models to DOD, particularly in the computer vision domain, to provide insight to decision-makers in minutes.
“To do that, we have refined the scaffolding needed — the infrastructure, data cleansing, model development, security, and testing to tackle massive, complex challenges at scale and speed beyond human performance,” Heneghan said.
AI is an active area. Mandates are coming down to agency heads around the performance and integrity of AI. At the same time, many face “a lack of definition as to what AI means to their mission… and what the optimized end state is to be,” he said. “AI brings great power, but it must be used responsibly and ethically.”
With its depth of AI experience, ECS is focused on helping agencies assess their AI readiness, formulate the strategy, architect AI policies and execute AI priorities.
“Data readiness is a key issue” for those seeking to implement AI and machine learning effectively, Heneghan said. “Many customers continue to struggle with normalizing and accessing all their data,” he added. “We bring proven, tested and informed solutions to support that effort.”
At the same time, ECS is focused on addressing the rising cyber threat, at a time when bad actors are becoming more inventive.
Predictive analytics and AI built into ECS’ clients’ security apparatus provide valuable insights into their cybersecurity vulnerabilities, enabling more effective responses and solutions, Heneghan said.
“Our ECS PathfinderTM platform, our managed security operations and threat intelligence platforms, as well as the platforms we have built for DHS’ CDM program and the Army’s endpoint protection system, are just a few solutions helping federal clients today,” he added.
The company also does a lot of zero trust planning and implementation. It developed an automated continuous Authority to Operate, or ATO, processing capability, which both protects the IT environment more effectively and frees capacity to focus on bigger improvement and innovation efforts.
ECS’ capabilities help to differentiate it from others in the field, especially its track record of success in integrating AI, cyber, modern software architecture and agile practices to create transformative solutions, Heneghan said.
“Being a smaller large, we are focused on being proactive, agile, and responsible to our customers,” he said, noting that this attention to clients helps drive the firm’s ability to attract, develop and retain top talent. “Top people want to tackle the most complex challenges facing our nation.”
Looking ahead, the company is focused on AI, cyber and digital transformation as the drivers of future growth. At the same time, ECS is looking to deepen engagements across its broad portfolio of DOD, civilian, law enforcement, homeland security and health clients.
In many cases, “solutions for one customer’s challenges can inform another customer and make our offering more robust,” Heneghan said. “We can take the lessons learned in one field and apply them to another, offering each a stronger solution set.”
The health arena, in particular, holds promise.
“We learned a lot as a nation through COVID that we now can apply to prevent, prepare and respond to the next potential pandemic,” Heneghan said.
The company’s recent win on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ T4NG-2 health IT contract, for example, “allows us to take our health domain experience combined with our IT and cyber strengths to help VA transform their mission through effective, innovative IT,” he said.
On a personal note, Heneghan said he draws inspiration from the opportunity to lead others in support of the government’s most critical mission sets. ECS aims to take on “the missions that matter the most and have a lasting impact on our customers, employees, and the communities in which we live and work,” he said.
“I believe passionately that the United States government is working to bring good to its citizens and the world, and it is helping to solve the world’s problems,” he said.
In helping to drive those mission goals, “ECS is doing impactful, meaningful work that I take great pride in,” he said. “We support missions that are bringing American ideals of freedom, democracy, global health, peace and prosperity. Our IT solutions help transform those missions and make them more effective, efficient, and impactful. What is more exciting than that?”