Blog Viewer

May 18 Newsletter


Welcome to the New SIMCAC Weekly Newsletter....
....Where each week, we'll share SIMCAC announcements, member spotlights, local/national industry news, upcoming events, and recaps of past ones! 

Event Recap- "The CIO in the Age of Digital Transformation"

May 16, 2018: A rainy night in DC, did not stop business leaders from attending the SIMCAC event. While the traffic and hours of commute to the City Club did cause a slow start, the turnout was amazing! Impromptu conversations, about the challenges, struggles, and success stories of their organizations’ digital transformation, were shared between many of the SIMCAC members over drinks. The discussion flowed into an excellent dinner, where conversations about artificial intelligence, cloud migrations, and business process integration challenges, and upcoming technologies could be heard.
As dinner died down, all attention turned to Perter High and his experiences guiding and advising CIOs the world over in their digital transformations. He began by showing the volatility that marks today’s business world. Businesses do not stay on top for long. Gone are the days of companies dominating the S&P 500 for multiple decades. Now even the best struggle to stay for longer than one or two. Competition is arising from all around, and new technologies are directly competing with traditional business models. Everyone know about Amazon and Google, but what about the transformations occurring in non-technology-based businesses? Some of the greatest success stories are coming from those areas. Examples such as Dominoes, Capital One, H&R Block were given. Only the companies that embrace change and step boldly into the new digital world will succeed. The CIO should be a champion for the digital transformation of their organizations.
Peter showed the first step is digitization of the company’s data and processes. This is followed by digitalization where profit streams are generated from the digitized data. Finally, the new profit streams become the business model for the organization and the digital transformation is complete. This is no easy task and Peter led several discussions on the challenges that arise in this process. Often the digital literacy across the organization is insufficient to succeed. It must be increased either by acquiring people with the expertise or training the current staff. IT’s relationship with the rest of the organization also needs to change. IT should be the central nervous system of the company; acting as a bridge between departments. It should coordinate efforts and resources and be intimately familiar with the business lines. Many attendees shared their own challenges of rising to this goal. 
Once an organization has transformed it must keep transforming and changing. Organizations must become agile. Speed is the new currency of the digital world. The faster you can respond to the changing world the more likely you are to succeed. Peter led several discussions around what being agile means and how to become agile. Moving to the cloud is one way to increase agility. But as many people shared, it is neither a magic bullet nor does it save money. It requires new expertise, training, and support staff. Organization must change what is valued in its employees. Learning agility, grit, and curiosity are the most important qualities to find in employees. Everything is constantly changing, and the rate of change will only increase. The organization must be made of people who can embrace change and look forward to the future.
Member Spotlight
Michael Abreu - Executive Director at CACI International Inc

Mike, you're coming off of a long and successful military career. Can you tell us a little about your Navy experience, especially as it relates to leading a large IT organization?

I transitioned from the Navy in November 2017 after a 25-year career in the Navy, where I spent roughly half of my career flying as a Naval Flight Officer in the P-3 Orion and half as an acquisition program manager, working on a variety of large defense programs in the areas of space systems, aircraft systems, and enterprise networks.  I have over 3,700 hours flying in theaters around the world, a master's degree in space systems engineering, and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1992 with a bachelor's in aerospace engineering. My last assignment with the Navy was as Program Manager for the Naval Enterprise Networks (NEN) program office, where I directed cyber security, protected data access, and capability upgrades for Navy networks worldwide.  The $4B+ program portfolio included the Navy Marine Corps Intranet, one of the largest corporate intranets in the world, with over 370,000 users and 700,000 accounts at more than 2,500 locations worldwide, executed via the Next-Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) contract.  My team accomplished significant change to the Navy's networks during my four year assignment.  Among these were transitioning to new mobile devices in record time, massive virtualization of the infrastructure, upgrading storage capacity across the globe, implementing multiple large-scale cyber security improvements, introducing new user productivity tools, preparing for transition to the cloud, and architecting the future of the Navy's networks.  A highlight of my career was being selected as a Secretary of Defense Executive Fellow in 2012, assigned for one year to Google, Inc. at their HQ in Mountain View, CA, just prior to my selection as NEN program manager.  That experience was incredibly illuminating, and fundamentally changed my approach to management, focusing more on large scale considerations, how to enable speed and agility, how to structure an organization to allow innovation to occur, and what powerful positive effects a mindful approach could bring to organizations.  I'd like to think I was able to apply some lessons from that fellowship opportunity to my program management tour to very positive effect.

How has your military-to-civilian transition been thus far? 

The transition to civilian life has been eye-opening, as the only other jobs I've ever had were working at a video store in high school and college work study for one year at Boston University before I transferred to the Naval Academy.  After taking some time to think about what would be fulfilling to pursue both personally and professionally, with the support of my family I decided to start a consulting practice, Strategic AIM, LLC, where I could use my experience to help organizations and executive leaders overcome large-scale transformation challenges across areas such as enterprise IT, cyber security, electronic warfare, airborne systems, and overall executive leadership issues.  So far it's been very rewarding to learn the personal business aspects as well as engage with potential clients to understand where their pain points are and explore potential solutions.  Though I'm just starting out, I'm excited by the thought of helping people get better and achieve their strategic objectives.

You also started a career at CACI International...can you tell us about your role there? 

Currently I'm an Executive Director at CACI International, working in their National & Cyber Solutions division.  I'm responsible for leading a new electronic warfare program through prototyping and into production, which is incredibly cool technology and I'm very fortunate to have the opportunity.  I have a fantastic team which has been able to create amazing capability for defense customers in a fairly short period of time, and I'm excited to go on this journey with them.  I'm also responsible for helping to pursue new business opportunities where we can deliver value at scale by solving tough electronic spectrum challenges for customers, integrating embedded cyber security technologies, creating truly open architectures, and bringing autonomous systems with deep learning into the tactical arena - a serious challenge compared to the luxury of using a large data center.  My enterprise IT experience really helps me think differently about developing systems, allowing me to better approach integration ideas, consider the networks, security, and user sides of the equation at scale, and look towards solutions that are inherently more flexible, faster, and more nimble than those which exist today.

You're fairly new to SIM, can you tell us how you first heard about the organization, what you hope to get out of membership, and maybe about what opportunities you see for federal and commercial collaboration at the IT leadership level?

I heard about SIM online as I was researching national associations or societies with stellar reputations across the IT community as I approached the end of my Navy career and contemplated future endeavors.  I wanted to maintain the connection to CIOs and IT professionals that I had as a Navy leader and be able to share lessons and experiences to help others, and continue learning from them along the way in the private sector.  It's clear that the federal, defense, and private sectors do things in different ways in the IT world though striving for essentially the same objectives.  So I think there is an incredible opportunity to collaborate across federal, defense, and commercial communities to help all become better at what we do, as much of that connective tissue I see today is segregated to a good degree.  I also see federal-commercial collaboration in the CIO world as a national security imperative, as both stand to lose across economic and security domains if lessons are not shared quickly, if relationships are not made which allow help to be offered in critical situations, and if pockets of excellence are allowed to stay unheard of.  I'd like to help make some of those connections if possible, and enable SIM to be the society of choice for federal and defense IT professionals as it is for their industry counterparts.
Upcoming SIMCAC Event - "Technology Megatrends & The Future of Work"
Tue, June 26, 2018, 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM EDT

SIMCAC welcomes current and eligible prospective members to join us for an evening of networking, dinner, and lively discussion. For the first time ever, we encourage attendees to bring their children, nieces, nephews, or grandchildren (ages 11-18). We have a great night planned that promises to be fun and educational for all!

We will start the evening with robotics and AI demos, conversations about the future of work (with a focus on what it means to the next generation of workers), and a casual dinner.

After dinner, SIMCAC is proud to host keynoter, futurist, and professor Christina “CK” Kerley as she takes all of us across the innovations and megatrends that will shape the future of work:

Yesterday was about billions of smartphones—but tomorrow belongs to the trillions of smart things digitizing all objects, products, and places within the physical world. The AI Arms Race is officially on, and IT leaders must turn their operations into “real-time, data-driven, know-it-all organizations” just to keep pace. Digital transformation is our destination . . . and blockchains may well hold the key in getting us there.

As headlines of job-killing robots abound, the real story escapes our view: Automation’s not taking our jobs away, it's giving executives back their time. Freed from administrative tasks, the “CoBots” will liberate employees to focus on creating new forms of value. A Reskilling Revolution—unrivaled in size, scope, and scale—will prepare our people for this fast-approaching future. And leap we must, while many in the US view automation as a big threat, China sees it as a BIGGER opportunity (and is investing the billions to achieve it).

Please register early, as we expect a heavy turnout and have limited capacity. We look forward to seeing everyone on June 26!

Register Here!

Event Speaker

Innovation keynoter and futurist Christina “CK” Kerley focuses Fortune 500s on the 10+ tech of the next 10 years.

A powerhouse of next-level content, “edu-taining” delivery, and razor-sharp insights, CK has wowed audiences at Verizon, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Amazon, The United Nations, E*TRADE, and Best Buy.

A faculty member at Rutgers Business School for Exec Ed, her in-demand topics span Tech Megatrends, AI, Robotics, IoT, Health Tech, and Mobile. Her eBooks include Future-Proof and The Smart Revolution.

Passionate about closing the opportunity divide, her pro bonoprogram—impaCKt—gives a leading edge to underserved groups. For CK’s videos, eBooks, and more:


Register Now!
Events and Announcements Around SIM

-Upcoming Cybersecurity Special Interest Group (SIG) Webinar "Lost in Translation: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Cyber Communication with the Board" - May 22 at 3 PM EST 

-Upcoming Advanced Practices Council Meeting - APC members will gather in Cambridge, MA on June 13 and 14 to explore strategies for transforming their organizations

-The fourth national SIM Women Leadership Summit to be held on September 27th in Schaumburg, IL

-The 2018 SIM IT Trends Study is Off to a Great Start!
Check out the new SIMCAC LinkedIn Page 

We'll periodically be posting updates here at the new SIMCAC LinkedIn Company Page. Please follow and share via your personal page so we can spread the word about SIMCAC updates and events!
Attention SIMCAC members! Since our members are the lifeblood of this great chapter, the success of this newsletter depends on our ability to share the happenings within it! So we're going to ask for your help in making this newsletter the best it can be. If you or fellow SIMCAC members have announcements, articles, pictures, videos, or any other content you'd like to share (and please do!), email to