No. 1 Lockheed keeps top spot for 17th year

Good performance will outlast budget woes, exec says

Lockheed Martin Corp.’s strategy in a tough and uncertain federal budget environment is simple: stay focused on business objectives and let the budget take care of itself.

“We’re not as focused on the specific budget,” said Linda Gooden, executive vice president of the company's Information Systems and Global Solutions business area. “We try to keep the entire team energized and focused on the efficient delivery of information technology services” to government customers.

And if federal agencies can slash costs through efficiencies achieved by IT, they can perhaps mollify cut-minded legislators and help improve the budget outlook — so goes the reasoning in the executive offices at Lockheed Martin.

“We believe IT will drive efficiency and effectiveness into the delivery of government services and eventually help deal with some of the budget issues,” Gooden said.

For the 17th straight year, Lockheed Martin is ranked No. 1 on Washington Technology's Top 100 list, with $17.3 billion in prime contracts.

In the past year, the company has made important strides on a two-dimensional business front, Gooden said. First, it fulfilled its commitments to customers through its performance on current contracts, including meeting technical, schedule and cost goals. “That’s probably even more important today as we think about the deficits and budget issues,” she said.

Second, the company has expanded its footprint with major contract wins, Gooden said. At the top of the list is a 10-year contract with a potential value of $5 billion for wide-ranging logistics support to Special Operations Forces worldwide. Under the contract, Lockheed Martin will supply critical services, including aircraft and vehicle maintenance and IT and electronics support.

Also on the domestic side, the company captured a six-year, $200 million Social Security Administration award to serve as prime contractor on a program to streamline SSA’s Disability Case Processing System. The company also won the right to compete for task orders under a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contract to expand IT services to CDC and its affiliated agencies. It’s a contract worth as much as $5 billion over 10 years.

And in the international market, Lockheed Martin won contracts to build an airborne surveillance system for the Finnish Air Force and furnish computing hardware, services and support to the Australian Taxation Office.

But what stands out most conspicuously among recent contract wins is a program in the cybersecurity area that Gooden can’t talk much about because it’s classified. “It’s a mission-critical cyber program that does a lot of data analytics, and that’s about all we can say about it,” she said. “But it’s pretty exciting because the cyber area [represents] a new frontier."

Still, the super-secret cybersecurity contract doesn’t necessarily signal a new growth tangent for Lockheed Martin’s IT business, Gooden said. “Cyber is really a thread through everything we do,” she said. “We can’t do anything in this arena today without thinking about cyber, without making sure our systems are secure. I don’t see it so much as a growth driver for the business but a necessary element to support the business.”

Looking ahead, company officials plan to concentrate single-mindedly on helping their customer agencies meet their missions through IT, taking advantage of technologies such as cloud computing and virtualization and “being mindful of the need to drive affordability into our solutions,” Gooden said.

Despite the government’s huge budget deficits and the potential for earthshaking cuts in spending, Lockheed Martin officials see the need for technology as a constant as agencies face mounting pressures to carry out their missions more efficiently and effectively.

“We operate in a market that continues to increase in importance to our government customers,” she said. “Information technology holds the potential to address all of their continuing needs, whether it’s increase in services, faster delivery or more affordability.”

About the Author

Richard W. Walker is a freelance writer based in Maryland.

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