Running a key sector in one of the world's largest information technology companies may not seem to have much in common with automobile repair. But one corporate leader draws from that discipline to drive a group that has undergone a complete overhaul since a serious breakdown little more than a decade ago.
Despite common interests and goals, the military and the information technology sector are hampered by cultural differences that thwart their ability to work together, according to a former U.S. Defense Department information technology leader now in the private sector.
George Pedersen always wanted to run a $1 billion company. When he started ManTech International Corporation on a shoestring budget several decades ago, the hard-charging executive knew achieving that level of market share would be a watershed moment for his fledgling enterprise.
Federal agencies have formulated aggressive campaigns to recruit skilled employees during an era of increased need for information technology professionals. Forced to compete with private industry, these agencies are changing employment packages to lure qualified professionals into the public sector and meet departmental requirements.
The critical shortage of available technical talent has added a new wrinkle in the realm of proprietary information for corporations. Once reserved for the blueprints of jet fighter aircraft or new software programs, closely guarded secrets now include techniques used to attract the best and the brightest with education and experience in information technology sciences. In addition, the new corporate landscape is being shaped by policies and programs that encourage current employees to stay put, and congressional legislation is allowing more foreign workers to enter the U.S. work force.
The rapid advancement of technology is causing continuous change in academic institutions tasked with preparing the work force of the next century. An incessant and increasing need for technically proficient personnel has placed a burden on institutions of higher education, demanding that they produce employees who can handle information technology systems that now permeate virtually every aspect of the business world.
You could forgive Bob Beyster for looking on his company with dollar signs in his eyes. After all, the chief executive officer of a nearly $5 billion global technology empire expects it to double in size again in the next five years.
If throughout your entire professional life you had gone by a nickname associated with one of the towering giants of American literature, what would you do when you finally retired from the corporate world?