Space Domination = Collaboration + Integration + Digital Transformation

Space Domination = Collaboration + Integration + Digital Transformation

Adopting new ideas and new partners

05-24-2021
Kuan Collins
SPACE

Space is big, and that size conjures images of isolation and solitude. Success in space ironically demands the opposite. To prosper in the space domain, especially as part of all-domain operations, organizations must aggressivlely adopt stances of collaboration and integration. The melding of capabilities within the space domain requires innovation across all components and emerging technologies that lead to digital transformation. So let’s explore collaboration, integration, digital transformation, and space domination.

Digital transformation and the continuing expansion of the space-to-ground network fuel the need for a culture of innovation, agility, and adaptability. As access to commercial technologies increases, it is imperative that our agencies and organizations rethink what they already know and are comfortable with, reevaluate their methodologies, and begin adopting these emerging technologies to stay ahead of change, retain and recruit the best talent, and remain competitive.

Collaboration fuels a broad innovative community

It is essential to shift to a “together is better” mindset and collaborate across all technology and organizational domains to create a seamless and connected innovation ecosystem to improve our interaction and data sharing. High-quality collaboration paired with a strong focus on modernizing our infrastructures and tools to improve our delivery of capabilities will help attain speedy and successful space and all-domain mission outcomes.

At SAIC, we are systems integrators and, by definition, bring communities together to deliver capabilities and customer-centered values and outcomes. We believe in promoting experimentation while we develop and refine our capabilities through integration with teammates and innovators in the community from academia, startups, startup accelerators (e.g. Techstars Startburst), and others.

In creating this broader context of how we do business, we not only leverage academia and government relationships and expertise, but we also infuse startup community best practices into the production and delivery of our capabilities.

It’s about thinking outside of our SAIC toolbox and supporting and investing in these communities that are behaving in the ways we want to replicate in order to establish and expand this innovation ecosystem stakeholder model.

This collaboration is very important in creating and maintaining a culture of relentless innovation. Learning to effectively utilize emerging technologies and make them relevant to the work we are doing is very important in accelerating our capabilities to support our customers.

The smart city vision is of collaboration and alignment on a common desired outcome by everyone within a metropolis, powered by technology and data.

Integration creates novel digital transformation capabilities

The desired outcome is to have our technologies and organizations so tightly integrated that we work like a smart city/center/space station/world — where we are truly collaborating and delivering the accelerated deployment of capabilities. We are currently working on accelerating our space capabilities, including artificial intelligence/machine learning, big data and cloud, automation, and 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) (for smart space stations and constellations). These are all the technologies that are driving digital transformation, and we have been researching and prototyping technologies and solutions to extend our vision of the power of these technologies not only on the ground but also in space, through our satellites and space stations, to improve service delivery.

DevSecOps underpins these technologies, by integrating methodologies to make our work more fluid and productive and accelerate delivery of these digital services.

DevSecOps (and eventually AISecOps – artificial intelligence applied to DevSecOps) is fundamentally the culture/process/methodology/technology that we need to adopt in our organizations and between organizations/stakeholders to accelerate the pace of innovation. This applies to every domain and especially the space domain. In order for the space innovation ecosystem stakeholder model to be successful, we need to break down silos and collaborate relentlessly to ensure that we are building technologies and capabilities that are aligned with where we want to be in space.

With these technologies and methodologies, we are creating shared environments, automating workflows and processes, and developing cross-domain, functional teams that work together. Having our domain experts, scientists, data scientists, and IT and infrastructure providers working and innovating in a more agile and collaborative way, we can bring that speed to everything that we build and deliver to space organizations.

In the space domain, security threats and large volumes of data are on the increase. So infusing that security upfront and having an advanced service delivery framework of technologies to develop analysis-ready data are crucial in ensuring that service delivery speed occurs safely and effectively.

Digital transformation and space domination

In order to explore the moon, Mars, and the universe beyond, an organization must be at the forefront of digital transformation and the adoption of new technologies.

When we think about problems and how to solve them, how can we look at all the data collections and technologies that we are bringing together to work effectively so the users can leverage and use the data? Data-enabled insights and data-driven decision-making through efficient, real-time, and appropriate data discovery, sharing, integration, and secure access is fundamental to our solutions.

A vision of the future includes enterprise data architecture, integrated applications, and autonomous systems (satellites, IoT of space, etc.) that allow people to integrate with everything and gain intimate understanding of surroundings to inform and effect decisions in real time. Ultimately this can enable human expansion across the solar system mission after mission and reveal the unknown for the benefit of humankind.

 

Posted by: Kuan Collins

Master Solutions Architect / SAIC Fellow

Kuan Collins is master solutions architect within SAIC’s National Security and Space Sector, responsible for leading and driving digital transformation and innovation investments and solutions for civil space customers. She develops intelligent software solutions that aid customers in drawing insights from disparate data sources, using data-driven and artificial intelligence methods, as well as developing architectures and roadmaps to solve total system challenges.

Collins, a Ph.D., joined SAIC in 2003. She was previously vice president of solutions for software and analytics, leading solutions development for several business captures across multiple market sectors. Her technical areas of interest include blockchain, artificial intelligence, and augmented analytics, and she specializes in program management, systems engineering, and harnessing innovation through strategy, collaboration, and creativity.

Collins is a recognized expert and resource in digital transformation, IT modernization, specialized engineering, and intelligent software and analytics. She is a mentor at the Capital Factory in Austin, Texas, helping innovative startups collaborate with system integrators and the federal government. She is also an adjunct instructor at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, teaching big data, evidence-based methods, and analytics. She serves on the board for the Austin Forum on Technology & Society and the Austin Smart City Alliance.

Collins holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park and a master’s degree in information systems from Strayer University. She earned her doctorate in business administration from the University of Maryland. She is a certified Project Management Professional, Certified Systems Engineering Professional, and Level III practitioner under the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA).

 

 

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