2012: On Top
With cyber as one of the few near term growth opportunities within the U.S. defense budget, we are growing increasingly concerned that small, innovative companies will get crowded out by larger, more entrenched players from an investment and visibility standpoint.
Going into 2012, if we were running a cyber company, here is what would be at top of mind to create the most value:
- Relook at business development plans to demonstrate solid win rates. Focus on priority sole source and competitive bid opportunities that showcase mission understanding—particularly unconventional warfare.
- Hone discriminators. Clearly communicate the Company understands specific hard problems and has differentiated technology gap fillers. Get on the offense! Take the extra step to understand the art of the possible of the offensively-minded cyber experts. Circle this understanding back into Company research and marketing efforts.
- Partner for position. Leverage skill sets from diverse industries back into federal marketplace. Similarly, use this as an opportunity to grow into commercial areas where cyber can be a discriminator (e.g. data consolidation, cloud computing, consulting and training).
- Maintain intellectual property at all costs. 30% solution is good enough for solving tough problems (e.g. hardening supply chain and national assets). Set aside some IRAD to stretch from current core competencies.
- Hire! Repurpose engineers from other budget crunched areas of the economy—not limited to aerospace and defense. Invest in educating employees by taking advantage of customer-sponsored cyber programs at local universities—helps with hiring pipeline too.