Historical Perspective

Frontiers February 2013 Issue

BOEING FRONTIERS / FEBRUARY 2013 11 Check IT out Why We’re Here Before Boeing makes an acquisition, this employee makes sure there are no significant IT security issues By Meghan Boyer In this Frontiers series that profiles employees talking about their jobs, Doug Broadbent, a system design and integration specialist with Information Technology in Bellevue, Wash., discusses his work analyzing IT security of companies Boeing may acquire. PHOTO: MARIAN LOCKHART/BOEING You wouldn’t buy a used car without first checking out its systems, right? The same holds true for companies Boeing is considering purchasing. Before it inks a merger or acquisition agreement, Boeing’s leadership team must know about every aspect of the business under consideration to make a well-informed choice. My job is to check under a company’s metaphorical hood and evaluate its IT security environment. I look for major IT security issues that could affect the purchase decision. For most of my 17 years with Boeing, I’ve been part of the companywide team that performs due diligence on potential acquisitions. Led by the Corporate Development group, each team member evaluates his or her area of expertise—from IT to human resources to legal—and reports their findings. Those of us in IT work hard to minimize cybersecurity threats and place high importance on protecting and securing the business. I help make sure Boeing’s high standards extend to companies under consideration for potential mergers and acquisitions. I’ve seen companies with strong IT controls, those with systems that are not up to Boeing’s standards, and every level in between. Each company has its own IT resources, policies and culture that must be checked and evaluated to determine how efficient they are and how they would integrate with Boeing’s systems and standards. When my evaluation is complete I present to the IT leadership team the key risks—and any mitigation plans—identified in the due diligence process. I report on the current state of the business that might be acquired and provide a plan for the work required to bring the IT systems to an acceptable level. If I don’t work hard to vet these systems in the beginning, Boeing’s IT network could be in jeopardy in the future. My input helps the IT leadership team and Corporate Development make decisions about whether or not to bring on new partners, products and services—any of which could be a game changer for the company. I have a lot of pride when Boeing announces an acquisition because I know I have played an important role in the decision-making process and the security of the IT system. n meghan.j.boyer@boeing.com


Frontiers February 2013 Issue
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