Accelerating Capabilities with Digital Engineering

Calendar icon 06-02-2020

Our comic strip illustrates how you can adapt your system at the speed of relevance


In Understanding Digital Engineering with Comic Books, cartoonist Scott McCloud’s wonderful explanation of how comics allow one person to convey an idea to another person or audience is also one of the goals of digital engineering: ensure what an organization is building resembles what it wants through the presentation of visual and other information among its people.

Digital engineering transforms engineering enterprises through the integration of digital technologies, engineering model expertise, and multidisciplinary knowledge into a digital ecosystem. McCloud's book, Understanding Comics, inspired us to boil down digital engineering to a six-cell comic strip.

Our comic features our SAIC space avatar and a guest-starring appearance from a customer robot. In this comic strip the customer robot is the real hero of the story. The SAIC space avatar provides critical digital engineering tools, but the customer robot scores the victory.

As you can see in the first three cells, the customer robot has a water-wielding robot coming its way, and that bad robot is evolving fast! It is getting bigger, scarier, and more dangerous by the minute. The customer robot needs some capabilities quickly to defend itself.

When a customer with engineering challenges calls SAIC, we spring into action with our four modular digital engineering services: transformation, ecosystem, execution, and knowledge management. In this comic, our transformation service benchmarks, plans, and executes a transformation strategy, built on SAIC and partner expertise, reconfiguring the customer robot for the new capabilities.

In cell 4, we get down to work with our ecosystem service. Like for our customer robot, it helps clients automate and evolve their current engineering infrastructures while reducing vendor lock. We partner with some of the digital engineering industry’s leading tool and platform providers, bringing the best together to build digital ecosystem solutions that fit customers' mission needs.

With a digital engineering ecosystem in place, we then apply our execution service to bring the right experts to attack engineering questions with confidence. They use a range of ecosystem tools, including modeling and simulation and systems engineering analyses.  

For instance, SAIC has teams conducting quick response modeling for congressional decision-making and mission modeling for U.S. Air Force preparedness. Findings are cycled back into the digital engineering ecosystem to inform all stakeholder efforts along the system life cycle.

Cell 5 shows the customer robot receiving the right equipment, training, and knowledge. Our knowledge management service drives quality and workflow by providing on-the-job-training using SAIC’s hyper-learning workforce development methods. It’s great to deliver cutting-edge tools and methods, but users need to know how to apply them to bring together and leverage the best minds in their organizations.

As the comic ends with the bad guy on ice, SAIC’s space avatar gets to enjoy a few well-deserved moments of downtime, but the truth is there will always be more mad scientists and more bad robots on the horizon. The great thing about digital engineering is the ability to continuously evaluate and adjust systems as missions evolve.

By leveraging the power of customers’ enterprise tools and experts into a knowledge management system, digital engineering can accelerate design and technical integration while driving innovation, which results in greater mission impact.

For more on what digital engineering is about, visit our digital engineering page, where you can click on our digital engineering services interactive infographic.