On April 3, 2018, General Dynamics Information Technology closed a deal to acquire CSRA, merging the operations of two massive government contractor IT shops and, according to company officials, bringing in a new era of collaboration across the company.
“What we’re trying to do is build a culture of collaboration,” said Yogesh Khanna, senior vice president and chief technology officer at GDIT, at a media roundtable on the one-year anniversary.
“It’s very informative to actually collaborate and to share what’s happening in one part of the company to the other parts. And what we’re trying to do is bring the portfolio of our capabilities, regardless of what division it’s in, to every single client.”
GDIT has three market-facing divisions — intelligence and homeland security, defense, and federal and civilian — but there’s far more integration between those divisions than outside observers would have originally found in the old GDIT.
According to Khanna, the “cross-pollination” potential for each of those divisions demonstrates the value of approaching projects in a collaborative manner:
“We brought in clients from the Navy and put in front of them a case study of stuff that we’re doing in programs for fed/civ, particularly around cybersecurity and cloud and all that. And they immediately resonated with the fact that we’re doing some cool things that are prudent, and they’re able to leverage the success and the challenges that we used to address those things.”
After the merger, GDIT leadership established a centralized process for handling areas like HR and contracting across the company.
“Before GDIT, it was totally decentralized. Within each division you had those functional areas, stovepipes basically,” said Bernie Guerry, chief operating officer and senior vice president of intelligence and national security.
They also developed a new centralized growth team that focuses on enterprise deals — those over $500 million — that’s made of solution architects, engineers and pricing analysts. That team then supports each of the three divisions.
That centralization has offered the opportunity to go after a staggering monetary value in contracts.
“We have planned in 2019 to bid on upwards of $50 billion in opportunities,” said Guerry, adding that GDIT already has about $15 billion underway in the source-selection stage right now.
As for the customer agencies and military services GDIT works with, time will tell if the new format of GDIT will offer visible benefits.
“Right when the deal was announced a year ago, I picked up the phone and started calling customers,” said Guerry. “I think what we’re bringing to our customers, increasingly, is added capability.”
Aside from helping the company and its customers, that breadth is also designed to benefit the workforce, according to the GDIT officials.
“We live and die as a result of the talent that we bring,” said Khana. “If you look at why people move in the industry, it’s because they want a different experience. You’ve been doing something for two, three, four years and you’re looking for something else to do professionally. We feel we have a broad enough portfolio that we can enable mobility in this company.”
Guerry added that the workforce is also involved in setting GDIT’s business imperatives, to reinforce the collaborative culture.
The one-year anniversary also comes with a new logo and design for the GDIT brand, to differentiate the company from what its employees are calling the “sea of sameness” among IT contractors.