Executive Spotlight: Frank Kist of QinetiQ NA

Executive Spotlight: Frank Kist of QinetiQ NA - top government contractors - best government contracting event

Frank Kist serves as Chief Information Officer at QinetiQ North America, bringing years of experience from a variety of sources including the music industry and IBM.

Executive Spotlight: Frank Kist of QinetiQ NA - top government contractors - best government contracting event
Frank Kist, QinetiQ NA

ExecutiveBiz: You have a very diverse background in terms of where you have worked. How were you able to sharpen your IT skills while working in so many different arenas?

Kist: Each company/agency that I have worked for had several of the typical IT issues associated with growth including cost control, security management, and stability and scaling for the future.  These are critical in both the commercial and public sectors.  In the commercial sector you support the same infrastructure items and business systems as the public sector; however the public sector has more specific procurement processes regulations and laws.

It is not a major issue, just one of those things you have to deal with. My career experience up to Road Runner was supporting internal IT requirements within the organization.  At Road Runner we were building broadband high speed Internet service; it was more of a product focus.

Going to the IRS as Associate CIO was going back to my IT roots where I supported the 115,000 employees within the IRS. I was able to improve service, reduce costs and increase employee satisfaction associated with the services we provided.  Once my term completed there, my next opportunity was at SRA International where they had grown through acquisition and organic growth and needed to standardize to make IT more efficient. I was able to actually improve the services, reduced costs.  I insured the implementation of controls supporting Sarbanes Oxley audit requirements, as well as FISMA controls.

ExecutiveBiz: How has QinetiQ North America, Inc. grown or changed since you have been on board there?

Kist: There are 3 operating groups, but initially they had the flavor of each of the 15 acquisitions. The culture has changed since arriving and now employees refer to working for “QinetiQ North America“ versus their legacy companies.  The consolidation of IT ERP, CRM Intranet and Infrastructure has been significant in the support of one QNA.

ExecutiveBiz: How does QinetiQ North America differentiate in the market?

Kist: We create and deliver superior products, services and solutions, tailored to our customers“™ critical missions that provide them significant competitive advantage.

ExecutiveBiz: In December of 2008 you talked about security and privacy data being a big trend you saw coming up for 2009 and the first half for 2010 ““ have you seen that to be the case? And what do you see as the next evolution of that?

Kist: Yes we have a presence in Massachusetts and their PII law required QNA to implement controls that were in line with our plans.  Security is critical in particular the protection of Intellectual Property.  The next evolution will be the further protection of data at rest and in motion.

ExecutiveBiz: Since you have so much experience with IT in your career, do you have any advice for someone who is new to the IT market?

Kist: They should understand that IT is not technology for technology“™s sake, but the purpose is to solve the businesses requirements.  For the business owners within our company, and within every company I“™ve worked for, IT is a tool to help them get their job done. With some companies it is an expense area and with others it helps drive the business. Instead of focusing on the latest widget, or Microsoft or Oracle product, or whatever, they should focus on what the business problems are that need solving.

ExecutiveBiz: What is one of your favorite hobbies?

Kist: Spending time with family and friends, as well as travel.   My wife and I went to Ireland last year and had a great time.

ExecutiveBiz: Do you do most of your traveling internationally?

Kist: Now that our children are older, we plan to travel more internationally.  Last year we traveled throughout Ireland and this year we were hoping to go to Scotland, however with the volcano issues we had to change our plans and are looking to next year.

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