Mike Gaffney comes to his role as president of CSC's North American Public Sector Civil and Health Services Group with a pretty long view “”19 years, at the company, to be exact. Most recently, Gaffney served as president of business development for the public sector unit, a vantage point that allowed him visibility into all markets and their relevance to federal, state, local, and commercial customers. Now, Gaffney's bringing that wide-angle view to bear in helping civil, state, local, and health markets address national priorities.
ExecutiveBiz: You come to your role with a wide-angle view of shifting national priorities. What are your top goals for CSC's public sector?
Mike Gaffney: To expand our core business “” specifically, the work we do for the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Management, and NASA, the last in the area of infrastructure support. Another element of our strategy is focused on market segments that grow faster than our core segments because of changing national priorities. Those “high growth“ market segments include cybersecurity, healthcare, identity management, training, and logistics. We're also building out a segment called climate change. Those are some areas that we think represent the intersection of national priorities and CSC's ability to address them.
ExecutiveBiz: Climate change “” what was the impetus for your entry into that area?
Mike Gaffney: Before I answer that, let me just say: We're not really interested in getting into a debate about what caused climate change. What's indisputable is that, whatever the cause, climate shifts are affecting the environment around the world. It has implications in many areas, health, agriculture, transportation, and we will all have to adapt to those changes. We've developed capabilities around modeling and simulation through programs with NOAA, NASA, and the EPA that are directly relevant to understanding the changes and helping with the adaptation piece of climate change. It's an area that we are just developing, and that we have a lot of room to grow in.
ExecutiveBiz: Turning to healthcare, obviously a top priority for the Obama administration. Where will CSC make its contribution?
Mike Gaffney: We have in-depth expertise in that area that has been developed at the federal, state, and local levels. For example, we've run the Medicaid information systems for New York for nearly 30 years, and, soon, for North Carolina. We've also helped oversee health information exchanges for the state of Massachusetts. On the international front, we're the implementer of a national system of electronic health records for the United Kingdom's National Health System. While a lot of differences exist between US and UK healthcare systems, CSC's knowledge in delivering electronic health records “” the security and privacy aspects, as well as getting providers to move from paper to electronic “” are all directly relevant to how the United States moves ahead on the healthcare front. We'll be using that experience with our clients here in the United States, both on the private side, where we have a large commercial practice working with hospitals and insurers, as well as on the public sector side.
ExecutiveBiz: Like healthcare, you can't go anywhere without hearing about cybersecurity. How does CSC plan to continue offering solutions?
Mike Gaffney: The work we've done in cybersecurity, specifically with the intelligence community, is relevant not only to other parts of government but also to the commercial and international markets. While, we've been providing cybersecurity solutions for decades, CSC has stood up a global high-growth market segment concentrating on cyber. Some of it is intellectual property tools and techniques, some of it, obviously, is trained people with the appropriate clearances and experience. The key to our approach is sound, intrinsic design. Such design combines security policy, engineering principles, and mission/business understanding. It includes an understanding of architectural, design, and engineering components, as well as functional components to ensure that the cybersecurity aspects of architecture do not deter or make too difficult legitimate use, which could lead to shortcuts and diminished security.
ExecutiveBiz: The issue of cybersecurity is tied, as well all know, to cloud computing “” another emerging market. What can you tell us about your work there?
Mike Gaffney: In my previous role [president of business development], I was heavily involved in CSC's cloud contract win with Google Inc., to replace the City of Los Angeles’ current email and other applications. Cloud is of significant interest to agencies from NASA, to the IRS, to the EPA. They are all interested in how the cloud contracts work, what the user perspective is, and what the experience has been. Federal agencies, as a whole, are hearing a lot of buzz around public clouds, private clouds, hybrid clouds “” like any new area, there is a lot of confusion. Which is why CSC has put together our Trusted Cloud Services to help agencies understand the cloud option opportunities, how it would fit within their operations “” what information should be on a public cloud, for example, and what shouldn't be. Ultimately, the issue comes down to trust and security. You've got to address those issues if you want people to embrace that new model.
ExecutiveBiz: And it's a new model that can help address those other national priorities you're focused on, like healthcare.
Mike Gaffney: Yes. One of the challenges in health is you have a very dispersed population in the United States. So, how do you effectively deliver electronic health records to a physician office in North Dakota, for example? The cloud becomes a great solution for connecting people with data, with applications, and with other people. But again, you have to have that wrapper of privacy and security. So, how do you get the benefits of a new computing involvement, in an area like healthcare that desperately needs modernization, while not leaving yourself vulnerable? That's something you can expect us to answer in the foreseeable future.