Q&A with Harold “Andy” Goodson, chief executive officer
Who are the main customers and industries Connexta serves?
We focus on secure data management and the exchange of information within the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) domain. We provide secure, distributed intelligence processing solutions for the United States Department of Defense, Intelligence Community (IC), and allied nations.
Connexta provides development and integration support for the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) Programs of Record as the foundation for ISR interoperability. Connexta is an open-source company. We firmly believe in collaboration over competition throughout the IC because collaboration drives rapid advancement.
What GEOINT trends are you currently experiencing?
I see trends that address both the future capability and the future of software procurement. I have seen modern software development methods move the GEOINT discipline forward at a faster pace required for success. I see communities moving toward agile development and government acquisition processes getting behind it—the outcome is new capability though rapid integration of new applications.
Challenges exist. The seemingly insatiable appetite for ISR products and their use are driving the community to consider new technologies and new platforms. The challenge, to date, in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) is that there is potential to create new stovepipes of information. To harness the power of data, data must be accessible in operational systems and it must be trusted. Data has an inherent provenance that must be maintained to be trusted. As a community, we need to solve how the algorithms access the data and how the results are made available to the enterprise and find their way to the decision-makers.
Why do you believe open-source is important for the IC?
Open source offers the ability to adapt quickly to emerging threats and requirements. The model of collaboration behind open source allows us to integrate heritage solutions while accommodating the rapid integration of new capabilities. Our customers leverage one another’s investment. As new capabilities are fielded for a single customer, everyone benefits.
What differentiates Connexta with regard to open-source systems?
Connexta is unique in our community. We embrace modern software development methods, keep a constant focus on the mission, and understand the rigors of government contracting. Our products are a foundation that we provide to the community through free licensing with unlimited rights.
How does Connexta help customers overcome challenges?
Agility is a core tenant of our team’s culture. Software and importantly the process for agile development and continuous delivery is becoming recognized as the means to adapt faster than the threat. At Connexta, we employ agile practices to allow rapid integration of new capabilities to expedite the development of quality software. Our open platform facilitates rapid integration of new applications to realize the benefits that new technologies such as AI and ML bring.
How has USGIF Membership helped Connexta achieve its goals?
USGIF provides our team a unique lens through which to spot relevant industry trends and gain valuable insights. The GEOINT Symposium and forums hosted by the Foundation encourage community participation and the exchange of ideas and collaboration. The Connexta team highly values this open collaboration.
How is Connexta preparing for the future of GEOINT?
At Connexta, the foundation of our culture is characterized in the three C’s—Connect, Create, and Contribute:
- Connecting people with technology to respond to emerging threats.
- Creating innovative, high-quality solutions through the rapid integration of new software. We embrace agility and transparency.
- Contributing back to those we serve through our open-source offerings.
What excites you most about the future?
Greater connectivity means our world is shrinking. Therefore, users are going to require deeper situational awareness, faster responses, and greater collaboration. At Connexta, we are committed to open-source software, agile methods, and collaboration with the GEOINT Community to deliver a decisive advantage to decision-makers and to the warfighter at the tactical edge.