Tim Chase is a principal at Deloitte LLP and segment leader for the firm’s U.S. intelligence community practice, where he is responsible for market development and service delivery of management and technology solutions to intelligence agencies.
He has been responsible for the development of the practice since its inception in 1996 and has worked with several of the agencies’ business process and strategic management initiatives, according to Deloitte.
Chase recently caught up with ExecutiveBiz to discuss how he came to Deloitte, how the firm helps agencies carry out transformation initiatives and technology trends the firm is honing in on.
ExecutiveBiz: Describe your position and your day-to-day tasks.
Chase: I have responsibility for our intelligence community business. The primary focus in this role is market development, which emphasizes bringing the full capability of the Deloitte U.S. firms to address challenges in the intelligence community. I also have responsibility for overall delivery to our clients in the intelligence community.
As a side note, it is typical of our culture at Deloitte for partners to take on a variety of roles. I’m also a member of our federal operating committee, and I lead Deloitte’s pro bono services program for our federal business.
ExecutiveBiz: What are some areas within the company that you have worked to change since you arrived there?
Chase: I came to Deloitte as part of the BearingPoint acquisition and have been here since 2009. This acquisition fundamentally tripled the size of Deloitte’s federal business. At the time, Deloitte had a growing federal business, including a solid anchor in a few of the intelligence community agencies and the portfolios of the two organizations were very complementary. Deloitte’s work was a little bit more technology and mission focused while BearingPoint was doing more human capital, financial management, and strategy focused work. As a result, there were not a lot of major changes that needed to take place from the onset.
Our real focus from the onset was integrating and learning how to operate the business at our new scale, and we were able to quickly turn our focus to growth. We also expanded our services and solutions portfolio, which enabled us to drive deeper into the mission, and we put significant focus on adding scale to our existing workforce.
ExecutiveBiz: Looking within just the federal marketplace as a whole, where do you and the company see potential growth?
Chase: Right now, we’re facing a time that could be unprecedented from a change perspective in the federal market. This is a topic that our federal leadership spends a lot of time discussing, and we’ve spent time and energy trying to decide where and how to invest. In the federal business we’re tracking the same types of strategic shifts that our competitors are – topics like cybersecurity, healthcare reform, financial reform, potential sequestration and so on.
Because we’re a consultancy we put emphasis on opportunities where transformation is central. Our business thrives when there’s a problem to be fixed versus providing more transactional services. We’re seeing a lot of contract consolidations and a lot of cost pressure. Eventually that will likely yield to a more transformational mindset for the government. To get the most out of the taxpayer dollar, it’s going to require a transformation on many fronts, and as a professional services organization we’re very nicely positioned to make an impact when this happens.
Within the intelligence community specifically, we see a lot of opportunities for growth. The ones that we tend to be most excited about are those that can leverage Deloitte’s commercial capabilities. An example would be applying our deep financial forensics experience that we have from working with commercial clients to the counter threat finance mission.
ExecutiveBiz: What are some new offerings the company is working on within your segment?
Chase: Because we are a consultancy that’s trying to stay out in front with regards to driving change, we’ve put significant energy into retrofitting our experience in industry to address a broad range of challenges. An example is the application of what we’ve learned in the mergers and acquisition space to actions we expect the government to take as budgets decline. In the commercial world, when there’s a merger or an acquisition it means collapsing organizations and driving out redundancies to achieve measurable, sustainable savings – this applies very directly to the budget challenges that our federal government clients are dealing with today. We’ve packaged this into what we call our restructuring and realignment solution – we’ve had opportunities to discuss the benefits with both potential clients and existing clients within the federal government and it has resonated well.
Another area that we’re focusing on is emerging technology trends with the goal of helping our clients understand where we see technology going and what the implications will be for their mission. A third example is enterprise risk management systems and methodologies, which is a big focus in the commercial sector and is just now getting traction in the federal government.
Looking specifically at the intelligence business, we’re focusing on ways to leverage our capabilities for specific mission challenges. One area of particular interest for us right now is social media analytics. In the commercial world, we’re doing some interesting and creative work around applying what you can learn from the streams of information coming through social media. Some of this is applicable to the challenges that the intelligence community is facing right now with the significant growth of these platforms. It’s another area where we’re leveraging commercial leading practices and getting a positive response from clients around the community.
ExecutiveBiz: How is your company helping the customer adjust to the new budget environment and how is that affecting the company’s main focus areas?
Chase: There are a couple different dimensions to this question. With regard to how we’re helping, I previously mentioned our restructuring and realignment solution, which operates as a cornerstone, but we are also actively delivering a variety of services across our client organizations including process improvement, change management, and different types of organizational studies.
When we look at things from a business perspective there are many ways to prepare for the coming changes. We see potential budget cuts as presenting an opportunity for our federal clients to begin driving efficiencies across organizations. Although we’re likely to see some across the board budget cuts, we’re seeing most of our customers trying to think through their fiscal challenges strategically. These customers will be inclined to carefully and surgically take costs out of the right places. For the customers that are approaching the problem this way, I think Deloitte is well positioned to help.
Deloitte continues to focus on transformation. Transformational programs will keep coming, and as they do, Deloitte is positioned well to assist. As the government determines its budget priorities we can’t lose sight of the fact that client value is going to come into play very heavily in many of the budget cutting exercises that take place. It’s up to us as a company to make sure that our clients see real value from our teams and the results that we’re driving.
ExecutiveBiz: How do you use your previous experience at BearingPoint and how has that helped you transition into your current role?
Chase: Throughout my career – and I’ve spent almost 20 years in consulting now – I’ve had the good fortune of consistently working around great leaders – people that have coached me, empowered me to think through the tough problems, and supported my vision and approach to the market. This continued when I came to Deloitte – the organizational culture was very similar.