Back in August David Kriegman was named President of TechTeam Government Solutions, an IT-services based provider in Chantilly, Va. In this week’s Executive Spotlight, Kriegman talks about TechTeam’s business development goals for the coming year, the trends he’s tracking, the latest in cyber security issues, and how he unwinds away from the office.
What leadership lessons have helped prepare you for your current role?
David Kriegman: In order to succeed in the government professional services business, you really have to tie yourself more to the customer's mission than to promoting a technology. On the leadership side, it's important to play to people's strengths. An effective leader identifies what somebody is really good at and has them do that, and then finds a different way to get the other things done. Get the right people on the bus and make sure they are doing the right things “” you will get a lot more out of them.
How do you anticipate the Obama administration impacting your business development goals?
David Kriegman: Well, in the Obama administration I believe we'll see a real emphasis on technology. That is a real positive. I think that Obama will be a leader who understands that technology is an enabler to solve problems and issues, to make government operate more efficiently and effectively. Obama also has had a lot to say about the need for improvements in government contracting, and I agree. There hasn't been enough emphasis on seniority and training; there needs to be a re-energizing of the importance of government contracting officials. Years ago I used to see a lot more senior general officers in the services responsible for acquisition and contracting than I do now. There are ways to improve the importance of those positions within government and to improve the training for those positions. That would be great for our industry.
What trends are you tracking in 2009?
David Kriegman: More and more government agencies want their own IDIQ vehicles. IDIQ contracts are important for any company's growth. That's probably the number one trend we're watching. Certainly the emphasis on cyber security is also important. I believe cyber security and homeland security will continue to be a very important priority in the Obama administration. Lastly, in these economic times, there is an increased emphasis on efficient IT infrastructure maintenance in both government and the private sector. There is increased pressure on the IT services people in every agency to be much more operationally efficient and yet still be effective in the use of new technology.
How do you look at cyber security as a business opportunity?
David Kriegman: That's an extremely complex question because it spans multiple dimensions. There is considerable work that needs to be done to better secure our networks overall. We don't just need stand-alone information assurance projects; cyber security is also becoming an increasingly important component in every project. Whether it's a software development or an infrastructure project, preventing cyber attacks is key.
What is the next big challenge for TechTeam Government Solutions?
David Kriegman: The next emphasis is building new offerings based on the capabilities we've gained through acquisitions and serving our customers. For example, one side of our business runs call centers, so we are very efficient at collecting data on whatever an organization is doing with their systems. Another side of our business does a lot of high-end consulting in areas such as organizational change management, modeling and simulation. Well, to me, it's natural to bring those two offerings together.
How does the ITIL certification at TechTeam play into your 2009 goals?
David Kriegman: TechTeam is very processed-oriented in both our commercial and government businesses. We have a huge emphasis on ITIL, the IT Service Library. We are ISO 9000 certified and many of our folks are ITIL-certified. That is just key to how we operate.
The value proposition of TechTeam Global is one that we have been able to adapt to government very well. TechTeam Global can approach large global commercial customers from many industries, including automotive, retail, pharmaceutical companies and manufacturing, and say “Times are tough; we can run your IT for less than what you are spending today, with service agreements that are just as good if not better.“
That value proposition teaches us not only how to bid and price, but how to execute those jobs efficiently. To do that you need really good processes in place. You need the ISO standard and you need ITIL-based service offerings. We've been able to take those practices from TechTeam Global and apply them to TechTeam Government Solutions. That is key to our growth.
What is something most people would be surprised to learn about you personally?
David Kriegman: I've had a strong interest in astronomy for a long time now. I have a telescope at home and it's been an interesting hobby for me.
How often do you get out the telescope?
David Kriegman: Probably a few times a month. I've recently moved and it's going to be a little harder to see as much from where I currently live.
What is your favorite restaurant?
David Kriegman: Citronelle on M Street. But sometimes what I'm really in the mood for is 2Amys in Cleveland Park.
What is the last book you read?
David Kriegman: A Sense of Urgency, by John P. Kotter
What is your favorite football team?
David Kriegman: I'm a Redskins fan but I have a confession to make “” I'm more of a baseball fan. I've had season tickets to the Nationals since they came here.
Interview with David Kriegman was conducted by JD Kathuria
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