Top 100: CSC stays focused on transformation

As CSC moves toward splitting into two companies -- public sector and commercial -- the government business stays focused on opportunities around the cloud, infrastructure and modernization.

Like an athlete getting ready for a triathlon, Computer Sciences Corp. conditioned itself for the lean years of sequestration. First and foremost, it worked to become more competitive by lowering overhead and offering more competitive pricing, said Larry Prior, vice president and general manager of CSC’s North American Public Sector business. Second, it made sure that its portfolio offerings were robust, next-generation digital technologies.

“You have to do both, it is not [a matter of] one of the other,” Prior said.

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The company ranks No. 10 on the 2015 Top 100 with $2.4 billion in prime contracts. CSC also recently announced that will split its public sector and commercial businesses into two separate publicly traded companies.

For its digital technology portfolio, CSC expanded its cloud computing offerings, both infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service, he said. The Falls Church, Va., company expanded its private cloud with the assistance of key technology partners EMC and VMWare, and also expanded its capabilities when leveraging Microsoft and Amazon clouds.

“What we found is that the customer wants a level playing field,” Prior said. “They want us to introduce competitiveness in how we structure hybrid clouds. We found that that is a sweet spot for us.”

To achieve these service delivery goals, the company relies on its Agility Platform, which functions as a consolidated platform for hybrid cloud management, governance, and security across multiple mixed public and private clouds. Cloud computing “is integral to everything we are offering now,” he said.

Like other integrators, CSC anxiously awaits an upturn in defense spending. CSC’s government market improvements should allow it to reap its share of new contracts when defense spending begins to increase. “We should be coming up [on a point] where sequestration has hit bottom and over the next five years we start to see budgets creep back up,” Prior said.

To offset declining revenue from Defense Department contracts, CSC has grown its business process outsourcing with civilian agencies, state and local government business, and health care and international contracts, according to company financial reports.

But the company is still winning and extending large contracts in the federal IT market despite the budgetary headwinds. In the past year, CSC won the right to compete for task orders on the Air Force’s $5.8 billion Network-Centric Solutions-2 IDIQ program, company officials said. In addition, the company won a competition to furnish IT services for the U.S. Transportation Command’s Agile Transportation in the 21st Century program, they said.

On the civilian agency side, CSC won a key extension to its existing Information Technology Infrastructure Program (ITIP) contract with the Transportation Security Administration, company officials said. It also won a 10-year, IDIQ contract to support and conduct phase one clinical trials of infectious disease therapeutics for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health.

One area where CSC is eager to capture additional business is the cybersecurity area. Prior said the cyber market is undergoing revitalization as a result of the seriousness of the threat to the U.S. economy and national defense.

“At times a market is made not because of the marketing prowess of companies but that there is a clear and present danger, and I believe the current nature of the advanced persistent threat is calling all of us to once again look at cyber and the opportunities that it provides. CSC’s strategy for cyber work involves the willingness to team with other technology companies,” he said. “We actually have a richer set of offerings with our cyber teammates,” he said.

Prior said that one of his primary goals is to extend existing contracts, particularly in light of the continuing challenges presented by sequestration and the defense spending downturn. “With the complexity of what is going on in government today, if we can extend our work and continue to adopt and transition the next-generation IT, that is our first goal,” Prior said.

This is particularly appropriate in the context of infrastructure modernization, he said. If CSC is involved in doing data center consolidation, then it might look to expand its work by helping the customer put in place cloud infrastructure, modernize applications and install software-as-a-service platforms, Prior said