Kevin Wideman: Delivering Impeccable Technological Solutions in IT Operations with Dedication and Desire
by Analytics Insight
January 19, 2022
Koniag Government Services (KGS) is an Alaska Native Corporation with more than 4,200 Alaska Native Shareholders. The mission and vision of the company are rooted in Alaska’s native values. The Alutiiq value of caring for the community is embedded in everything that the team does in every service, decision, and investment reflects the KGS commitment to living the Alutiiq culture.
KGS and its subsidiary companies demonstrate success by providing high-quality products and services to government agencies, healthcare providers, and higher education institutions. It brings forward-leaning solutions that are designed to solve complex mission and business challenges in enterprise IT, professional services, and operations management.
KGS designs technical solutions that improve IT operations and demonstrates expertise in cloud, cybersecurity, application development, and data analytics products and services. The company full-scale consulting, solution engineering, and program management services improve efficiencies and reduce operational costs. The team supports leadership organizations with financial management, strategic consulting, and human capital solutions. Recognized as a one-stop partner, KGS aligns its vision with the customers’ missions to ensure success. The best-in-class facilities management and integrated logistics support include security and intelligence, and occupational health.
A Strategic Leader with Business and IT Vision
Kevin Wideman is the CEO of Koniag Government Services with over 30 years of experience in leadership positions. Kevin focuses on revenue growth, strategic planning, operational excellence, and customer delivery. He specializes in transitioning and building a business culture based upon high-quality customer service, recognition of outstanding employee performance, and the common pursuit of company goals. Kevin’sextensive background in information technology, program management and development, and systems engineering has empowered him to position KGS as a leader and sought-after partner within the Government Information Technology Services industry.
Since joining KGS in September 2018, Kevin has led the company’s growth from performing US$100+ million in annual revenues to US$500+ million projected for FY 2022, with corresponding net profits that are growing exponentially. He drove the company from130 employees to an incredible team of more than 1700 today.
The Inspiration Behind the Initiations
Kevin has worked for some of the greatest small business CEOs in the industry. He was fortunate enough to work in the executive cabinet of Roger Mody, the most successful 8A CEO; Deepak Hathiramani and John Hassoun are two other CEOs that he had the benefit of learning from. He has also worked with some CEOs that helped inform him on how “not” to lead. Additionally, Kevin has progressed from working as an engineer to increasing levels of leadership. That has given insight into the demands placed upon everyone in the chain of command.
Envisaging the Challenges Head-on with Courage
Kevin mentions that the biggest challenge he faced was cultural change. Changing a culture that people have grown comfortable with is very challenging. People will buy into the vision. But the more things change, the more they want them to stay the same.
Today, after three years of transformational changes, KGS’sculture is one of the best Kevin has ever experienced in the GovCon space. The company fosters a culture of taking care of people and having each other’s backs, which contributes to the very low turnover rate. He adds that KGS faces adversity head-on and deals with issues when they happen with full transparency. There is always a solution to any problem, so the team challenges and empowers leaders to be solution-oriented.
Kevin gives a recent example when the healthcare costs were rising 2% per employee, which meant each member of the team would have had that much more taken out of their check. Instead of passing that along to employees, KGS covered the cost as a company. It is something Kevin is very proud of; company growth enabled KGS to cover the cost increase.
Internal Implementation as the Catalyst of Innovation
Kevin highlights that his team innovates along with customers by implementing the same solutions internally that they provide services for. As an example, he cites that the team works on a lot of robotic process automation (RPA) for customers and internal processes, including automating business development and finance activities at KGS. The lessons learned and improvements that are made internally are innovations that the team members bring to customers as well, sharing the benefits and approaches that make a project successful.
Technology and Intelligence at the Heart of Business Development
“Technology innovations today are making the industry faster with more contextual relevant data,” says Kevin. He adds that the sheer amount of data that is created every day makes these technologies essential in today’s business environment to get from data to intelligence. “To lead in this environment, one must be flexible and open to change, infusing disruptive technologies where they make sense to take time and errors out of business processes,” emphasizes Kevin. The role of a leader is more now than ever about the enablement of a team and giving them a platform to think creatively and own process improvements using automation, he underscores.
Essential Traits for Positive Growth
According to Kevin, the ability to listen and communicate is one of the vital traits of a leader. “Only when you listen, can you hear ideas other than your own. Effective communication skills are attributes that every leader “must” possess. If people are not listening to you, then they are not following you” states Kevin.
Key Advice to Aspiring Leaders
Kevin suggests that aspiring leaders always remember that CEOs are leading human beings. “It is fine to lead with a passion for success; however, one needs to also lead with compassion for employees. A leader just can’t talk it, you have to walk the talk,” says Kevin.
A Robust Roadmap for the Future
Kevin believes that the government contracting industry has some major challenges in the road ahead including pandemic-related issues, global competition, contracting hurdles, and aging technology platforms. KGS meets these challenges head-on by offering creative solutions to keep agencies ahead of the curve. He highlights that as the company continues to grow, the team is constantly re-investing in innovation like communities of practice for agile, DevSecOps, and cyber, as well as hosting annual ‘Innovation Spike’ competitions to allow the staff a platform for infusing results-based innovations back into the government. Kevin concludes that the company is also constantly working in collaboration with the government on contracting solutions to make the process more seamless and less costly.
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