Prachi Sukhatankar, vice president of technology solutions with Amentum, recently spoke with ExecutiveBiz for its latest Executive Spotlight interview, regarding the company’s technology strategy including common challenges, business alignment, key initiatives and innovation. She also discussed how Amentum rebranded from AECOM in 2020 as well as where the company will focus in the future.
“At the heart of innovation is co-creation. Innovation is a team sport that includes both divergent and convergent thinking. When you bring people and perspectives from different disciplines together and provide a safe environment, you have a state for innovation to take place and the right ingredients for success.”
You can read the full Executive Spotlight with Prachi Sukhatankar below:
ExecutiveBiz: What are some of the challenges you face and how does that shape your strategy?
“Amentum has a diverse set of customers and services across defense, aviation, intelligence, energy, and environment. While this can seem challenging to devise a cohesive technology strategy, the opportunity here is to look for a set of common problems that our customers face, have a streamlined roadmap to address them, and cross-apply solutions.
The second challenge is that the landscape of technologies and market trends continues to evolve, and this shift is only accelerating. What is relevant now, from a technology standpoint, may not be relevant a couple years down the road, so we must build organizational resilience and identify how to navigate the shifting landscape. To address this, we look to continually test the technology assumptions that enhance the business outcomes we are trying to achieve.
We look at the markets, the technology and industry trends, then apply those insights and align them with our business and growth strategy. Finally, we ensure that we have a balanced mix of technologies in our portfolio so that we can capitalize on our core business and at the same time, also look for adjacent transformative growth initiatives. This foundation allows us to build and refine our strategic offerings.”
ExecutiveBiz: Since AECOM rebranded as Amentum, how have your business focus and offerings transformed?
“Since Amentum launched as an independent company in February 2020, we’ve sharpened our focus on technology initiatives covering analytics, artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML), predictive maintenance, robotic process automation (RPA), augmented reality (AR), and next-gen training. We have tailored our offerings to create solutions for customer domains such as aviation, mission assurance, facility operations & maintenance, language services by applying these advanced approaches. Additionally, we have expanded our strategic partnerships with technology vendors.
We have also established a robust development framework, combining principles from Design Thinking and Agile, that enables customer-centered discovery and nimble execution. We have also brought governance, scale, and agility by establishing centers of excellence and citizen developer cohorts.
Apart from automating back-office processes, we are exploring the frontier of how to make RPA mission oriented. We have also embarked on the journey to scale Intelligent Automation for shifting our workforce to high-value work, in turn achieving their highest potential and gaining a competitive advantage in our business and services.”
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ExecutiveBiz: Where are areas of improvement within technology that Amentum will focus on moving forward?
“We’ve put effort and thought into rationalizing and maintaining a cohesive technology portfolio, especially after the recent acquisition of DynCorp International. Our integrated solutions combine tangible software platforms, methodologies and tools for rapid, cost-effective delivery and excellence.
We will continue to conduct pilot projects and prototypes, through which we identify new, untapped opportunities. It’s a cycle that doesn’t end. In parallel to delivering solutions, we’re exploring new areas where we can bring value to our customers.
Additional value can be brought to bear with solutions that mix two enablers together. For example, we see opportunities by combining RPA and AI, using 5G as an enabler within key services, thinking of analytics & automation specifically in supply chain/logistics solutions, and so on.
We will be focusing on additional partnerships and ecosystems that will give us scale, access to cutting-edge technologies, and allow us to create joint go-to-market strategies.”
ExecutiveBiz: In terms of innovation what are your thoughts and what is Amentum’s strategy to develop more accessible solutions?
“I believe that innovation can be embraced by everyone at varying levels. It requires a change both in the individual and organizational mindset where innovation starts to feel tangible. There need not be this misconception that it is something that is owned only by an elite group.
This is something that I am very passionate about. If you think about it, it’s not like someone wakes up one day and says, ‘Oh, I’m going to be innovative.’ It needs to be part of the fabric and culture of the organization and it needs to be part of how you operate, how you bring your professional skills as well personal talents to the table.
We have been holding discovery workshops and co-creation techniques within the company, and we initially start small and then iterate on it. Our strategy revolves around being open-minded, without any judgements in the initial stages, but then soon defining approaches that will provide value to our customers and their missions.
To me, at the heart of innovation is co-creation. Innovation is a team sport which includes both divergent and convergent thinking. When you bring people and perspectives from different disciplines together and provide a safe environment, you have a state for innovation to take place and the right ingredients for success.”
About Prachi Sukhatankar
Sukhatankar is a multi-faceted technology executive who has taken diverse leadership roles over a span of 20 years, guiding the strategy, engineering, go-to-market, and delivery of digital solutions to transform businesses in both private and public sector. Prior to joining Amentum, she was a Technical Fellow for SAIC and led initiatives in analytics/AI, big data, and software solutions.
She has served in leadership and mentoring positions for regional organizations like Northern Virginia Technology Council and Women In Technology. She believes in a growth mindset and enjoys exploring topics at the intersection of business, technology, design, and humanities.