Smart Enterprise: The Reliable, Available & Protected Work Environment

As leading cloud providers innovate solutions for government, what can federal CIOs learn from private "smart" enterprises?

Mark Forman

It’s an exciting era for federal IT leaders –- and a demanding one. They are observing the digital evolution producing “smart enterprises” in private industry. A smart enterprise is one that takes advantage of digital innovations not just to produce incremental gains in savings or productivity, but also to inform every aspect of the enterprise.

The smart enterprise leverages digital innovations to differentiate from competitors, perform its operations, produce its products and services, delight its customers, and capture new ones -– all while safely securing its information and networks. The smart enterprise is hyper mobile and always on, requiring flexible, always-on support. Users work collaboratively, connecting via any and all devices, using social media intensively, and consuming massive amounts of data -- much of it highly sensitive.

Creating such an enterprise is one thing for digital natives like eBay, Uber, Amazon, and lesser knowns like Dollar Shave Club, Postmates, and Glossier. They tend to be agile, unburdened by legacy culture or technology obstacles, heavily funded, and highly valued even before turning a profit. But large-scale digital transformation is arduous, complicated, and costly for traditional organizations that have to overcome constraints of legacy systems, long-established cultures, vast but mostly unusable data stores, and constant pressure from overseers.

Many government agencies find themselves in the latter category, with digital pilot projects and small initiatives underway as they gain insight and experience. As citizens become dependent on digital enterprises, they expect similar performance improvements with government services, the success of which increasingly depends on agencies’ ability to securely translate data into informed insights at record speed.

Success also depends on the ability of government to replicate the modern work environment of digital enterprises, which requires attracting, developing, and retaining skilled resources in direct competition with private industry. A recent study we conducted found that workers at technology laggard” organizations are more than 500% more likely to be frustrated and 600% more likely to consider quitting when they work with outdated technology.


An additional and persistent challenge for government agencies, no matter their mission, is the rising number of crippling cyberattacks. This is creating pressure to migrate swiftly from vulnerable legacy systems to digital security innovations. In parallel, new security tools and risk management practices evolve in line with a broad range of threats that continuously search and pick away at vulnerabilities in government information systems.

As a result, leading cloud providers, recognizing government agencies are ripe for digital innovations, are increasingly dedicating resources to the work, innovation, and investments that enable agencies to progress to smart enterprises. These are some of the questions cloud providers can help federal CIOs answer:

  • How well is your cloud adoption strategy aligned with your mission, and how well does it enable your program managers to perform? Can confidential cloud accelerate your cloud adoption? What is your ideal mix of on-prem and cloud?
  • How will you prioritize next-gen technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics, based on which hold the most promise for fulfilling your particular mission?
  • With regard to application modernization and the cloud, what applications should be transferred to the cloud, and which can be eliminated? Which can be delivered as software as a service?
  • With the increasing deployment of 5G networking, the internet of things, and augmented reality, how will you meet the demands they create?
  • As you migrate to always-on, always-connected mobility, how mature are your cybersecurity solutions for protecting data and networks?

As in private industry, the smart government enterprise affects all aspects of the organization. It’s not just cloud or networks or applications. It requires a comprehensive strategy encompassing architecture, components, devices, and the experience of users both internal and external.

Now that technology providers are increasingly accommodating the needs of the government market, federal IT leaders can find the advice and solutions they need for their smart enterprise journey.

Posted by: Mark Forman

VP, Digital Government Strategy

Mark Forman is vice president of digital government strategy for SAIC. In this role, he is responsible for is leveraging deep domain expertise across the SAIC solutions portfolio to provide digital solutions important to U.S. Federal government clients. This includes data analytics, applications modernization, and hybrid cloud services using techniques including low code, containerization, and cloud native. He also co-chairs the SAIC CARES Solutions Task Force.

Forman is an accomplished thought leader with more than 30 years of professional work experience in industry and government, including a Presidential appointment to be the first U.S. Administrator for E-Government and Information Technology, the Federal Government’s Chief Information Officer.

Prior to joining SAIC in 2020 as part of its acquisition of Unisys Federal Systems, Forman was global industry vice president and global head of Unisys Public Sector. In that role, he designed and implemented the successful repositioning of Unisys as a global provider of solutions for Digital Government, Justice, Law Enforcement, Border Security, and Social Services. During his tenor, the Public Sector teams grew rapidly in both new clients and base business expansion, achieving nearly $1 billion in new contracts.

Before joining Unisys, Forman was vice president for IT Services and Cloud Solutions at TASC, Inc./Engility Corp., where his group assisted government agencies in transitioning to the cloud by providing advanced systems engineering, integration and decision-support services to the federal government. This work included building a high quality team of consultants and engineers that developed IT Modernization Roadmaps, a modern IT governance framework, and deployed the Federal Emergency Management Agencies first hybrid cloud environment.

Forman is past President and Co-founder of Government Transaction Services, Inc. which was established in 2010 to be the leading provider of cloud-based business process and transaction services enabling interaction with the federal government. Forman left KPMG LLP in January 2011, where he was a Principal/Partner and the Practice Leader of KPMG’s Federal Performance and Technology Advisory Practice. In this role, Forman created a rapidly growing organization of about 170 consultants assisting federal agencies in business transformation initiatives.

From 2001 through 2003, Forman was the first administrator for E-Government and IT at the Office of Management and Budget, where he instituted most of the Federal IT budgeting and governance processes in use today. From 1997 to late 2000, Forman was a principal in IBM Global Services where he went from leading a federal government practice to creating and growing the national Public Sector e-Business Consulting Services, which he then extended to IBM’s Global Public Sector e-Business Strategy Services practice.

From March 1990 through February 1997, he was a lead staff member in the U.S. Senate for legislative reforms in place today including: Defense and government-wide management, major acquisition programs, and IT and weapons acquisition. He also conducted oversight and investigations on horror stories in major government projects.

Forman holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from The Ohio State University and a master’s degree in public policy analysis from University of Chicago. He currently serves on the Social Security Administration Advisory Board IT Panel and previously served on the Board of Directors for Corio Inc. and the Advisory Board for PureEdge prior to their acquisition by IBM.



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