Q&A with Michael LaRouche, executive vice president and general manager for National Security
What is SAIC’s role in geospatial intelligence (GEOINT)?
Fundamentally, SAIC is a technology integrator and mission enabler. We are large enough to engage in all elements of GEOINT, which includes the Intelligence Community (IC), warfighters, policy-makers, and partnerships with industry and universities across the country. But we are also small enough to move at rapid speed. SAIC leverages its position in the GEOINT Community to integrate ideas and technologies across different areas to deliver results faster.
How do SAIC’s capabilities contribute to the GEOINT Community?
We leverage technological innovations and our broad network connectivity across the GEOINT Community to broker together technological innovation from smaller industries with the military and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). SAIC was fortunate enough to partner with NGA’s Source Transformation division to create an industrial ecosystem that allows new, innovative partners to provide applications. We helped create an ecosystem through which creative partners can produce applications that are warfighter-centric and meaningful. Applications are evaluated and tested by SAIC, and NGA quickly adopts those that have high relevancy.
How does SAIC leverage USGIF Membership to enhance its services for customers?
SAIC consistently adopts, integrates, and innovates technologies invented by other companies while still doing some inventing of our own. USGIF is one of the leading organizations that help us. The Foundation offers opportunities for us to be aware of new challenges within the GEOINT Community. It also allows us to interact with traditional and nontraditional partners so we can gather more insight to affect our technological innovation and our integration of other technologies to support a focused application.
How long has SAIC been involved with USGIF?
We’re very proud that we were a founding member when USGIF was established nearly 16 years ago. As a U.S. government integrator, we saw the Foundation as an excellent platform for us to bring all we’re doing across the community into focus. By leveraging everything, from the large to small initiatives, we’ve been able to use USGIF resources to bring forward what we do. On a large scale, you have the GEOINT Symposium, which brings the community together. But there are also smaller events, like GEOINTeraction Tuesday and the GEOINTegration Summit, that create opportunities for us to engage in a more intimate setting to learn and exchange ideas.
What excites you about the future of GEOINT and SAIC?
The community is dealing with exponential data sources. The number of places where we can get data that affects GEOINT is growing exponentially. We are also dealing with exponential data availability. And so, this exponential challenge is something SAIC continually works to address. It’s easy to get trapped in what I might call “continual reorientation and observation” because, at this speed of change, we continuously have to reorient and spend our time observing. SAIC invests in analytical technology, IT modernization, application modernization, etc. We want to support investments in advanced visualization techniques, build partnerships across industries, and remain focused on the bigger picture. Ultimately, we want to take action and to affect mission outcomes.
Featured image: Snapshot of an interactive map developed by SAIC leveraging real-time data analytics on the edge. (Credit: SAIC)