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Achieving Greater Business Value With Innovation

by Denise A. Saiki, CIO & VP Enterprise Business Services, Lockheed Martin February-2016

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 116,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The company currently has a market cap of $46.99 billion.

Today's competitive environment is putting pressure on most businesses to reduce the overall costs of operations. But at the same time there is a pressure to drive down costs; organizations are dealing with increasing demand for the latest technology solutions. The technology literally changes by the minute, customers and employees expect to have the latest advancements at their fingertips, just as they do in their personal lives. 

Keeping Pace with Changing Technology 
CIOs and information technology organizations are very familiar with the technology trends that are driving all of the businesses — cloud, mobility, and data analytics. In many respects, these technologies are not new. CIOs have been addressing their application to their businesses over several years. However, more changes lie ahead as the technologies further evolve. 

Lockheed Martin provides cloud-based services for many customers and also takes full advantage of the cloud's capability for its own large-scale enterprise data center consolidation project. Having known many advantages that cloud brings, company's migration project is focused on driving efficiency and reducing costs. Organization's solution positions it to take advantage of internally-hosted, and in some cases, externally-provided cloud solutions. 

Our teams are helping customers harness the power of big data and get the most out of the data that are available. Information security is a core part of our operations and we are utilizing impactful analytics to inform our cyber defense strategy. Data can be a powerful tool in understanding the trends in our business and we are continually looking for ways to use that to our advantage. 

Mobility is a major trend too. There is an expectation that everyone should be connected at anytime from anywhere and, more increasingly, with any device. One current focus area for our business is bringing mobile technology to the manufacturing floor. By bringing the technology closest to where the work is getting done, we can improve the efficiency of our production and logistics operations which will benefit our customers. 

Our focus is to drive down costs of legacy operations, and then use some of the savings to invest in new technology. The challenge then becomes scaling new technology for an organization with thousands of employees and hundreds of sites around the world while maintaining a secure environment. My team is tasked with ensuring that the technology and systems we introduce work across the business — from teams building fighter planes in Fort Worth, Texas, to those delivering citizen services in Canberra, Australia. 

Challenges to Breakthrough
One of the main gaps I see in the market is enterprise-wide cyber security. A lot of companies provide individual products, but there is a lack of products and services that offer a fully-integrated model for monitoring network activity and identifying threats. Although Lockheed Martin is mostly known as the world’s largest defense contractor, we are also the largest provider of IT services to the federal government. Cyber security is at the core of everything we do. Using experience gained from protecting our own networks, we have developed solutions for securing an organization’s critical information, systems, and networks to ensure confidentiality, authenticity, and integrity. 

We are taking a proactive stance to dealing with the advanced persistent threats that face our, and our customers' networks every day. We place emphasis on an intelligence driven defense model, to ensure agile response to attack and enhanced resilience of our systems. We have automated analysis that uses a wholly objective approach and data that already exists within the corporation. Our proactive approach to protecting our systems, people and products helps us continue to build on our trusting relationships with our customers.

Our second key challenge is to ensure we are doing everything we can to attract and develop the future workforce. We know that in the next decade our retirement-eligible population will grow significantly and we will see the greatest turnover we have ever seen in our business. We need to make sure that we have a robust pipeline of individuals ready to take on these critical roles. To do this we must inspire students to pursue these disciplines, which are critical to our national security and economic strength. Success depends on collaboration among industry, educators, policy makers and families. Lockheed Martin is committed to working with these groups to develop programs that educate and inspire tomorrow's scientists, engineers and mathematicians. 

Going Ahead with Innovation
Our Lockheed Martin team has a strong culture of innovation-innovation with purpose has been at the core of our business for 100 years. That innovation is driven by our employees. Their thoughts, ideas and problem-solving skills fuel the creativity of thinking and innovation that our customers depend on to solve their most complex problems, from breakthroughs in clean energy and advanced materials to major leaps in robotics, big data technologies, and cyber security. 

Our IT expertise is also focused on further enabling innovation across the team by increasing the ability of our workforce to collaborate with each other. We make sure that they have the right tools to share information, discover new possibilities and engage with their coworkers across the enterprise. The critical role CIOs and their organizations will play now and in the years ahead will be determining the strategic investment approach for utilizing the rapidly developing technologies to achieve the greatest business value.