Applied Information Sciences has approximately 1,000 employee-owners who will drive their company’s push to take on larger programs in the next phase of their strategy.
The four-decade-old provider of cloud engineering and other technology services has tripled in size since 2016, certainly an elevated upward curve for any public market company during that period.
“When we say growth for the company, it’s not growth for the few, it’s growth for all,” AIS co-founder and CEO Larry Katzman said in an interview. “We are fortunate to have people who have been here for five years, 10 years, sometimes decades, and their entire careers with us.”
In the spring of 2022, AIS acquired another cloud services company, Xgility, to bring over 100 more technologists. AIS is also one of several integrators backed by Blue Delta Capital Partners, the government market-focused venture investment firm.
Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, AIS also has a significant book of business with commercial and highly regulated clients that includes Fortune 100 companies.
Focusing on the federal side, AIS’s positioning for this phase of its growth push included hiring industry veteran Kim Pack to lead that company as president.
Pack joined AIS in early November after 12 years at Wolf Den Associates, which included the transaction to form what is now Deep Water Point & Associates. She led Wolf Den as CEO and then became president of the combined entity.
During our interview, Pack told me that one of her top priorities at AIS will be employee engagement and workforce culture amid what she called a “paradigm shift” in how all of this happens in companies.
Perhaps no megatrend in the public sector and the wider economy has captured the attention of business and public sector leaders as much as the issues of employee recruitment, development and retention.
“One of the dynamics that I think is important is the social collaboration and having the best idea win win and not doing it formally,” Pack said. “I think the new paradigm is working and finding old and new ways to collaborate, wherever we are and wherever we can meet the employees.”
Being a technology company can provide some advantages in how to do it in this era of disjointed workforces and teams, Pack and Katzman said.
“We just have to be more conscious to protect our culture,” Katzman added.
Then there’s the work AIS does for federal agencies across its four touted focus areas: artificial intelligence and automation, cloud computing adoption, application development, and data and analytics.
Katzman indicated that AIS is looking to flesh out its service offerings further beyond the technical service core it has been known for throughout its history.
Given AIS’s commercial foothold and key relationship with Microsoft, a core part of AIS’s strategy is to have a prime position at the intersection of technology consumption and government adoption of these tools.
That includes work to bring the technological tool that has dominated the agenda above all others into more government environments: generative artificial intelligence.
In a conversation with Katzman, he pointed out that AIS is in virtually all Microsoft early adopter programs as part of their partnership. This means that AIS has access to many of the high-profile AI tools through Microsoft’s Azure cloud offering, including the now very famous ChatGPT product.
“This is secure enterprise computing by one of the world’s largest enterprise software companies, wrapping this powerful technology in a way that makes it safe to use in the enterprise,” Katzman said.
As Pack pointed out, the federal government is “one of the largest de facto corporations in the world,” and that means every employee has access to consumer technology in their personal lives. It also changes their expectations of what they can and cannot access at work.
Pack’s role at Wolf Den saw her lead a team that saw many of these drivers as the consumerization of technology and is a lens she seeks to bring to AIS.
“I want to continue that and instill that in our partners, what we’re trying to do and how we’re doing it,” Pack said. “We want to continue to be at the forefront of that.”