May 2, 2019 / ragravante
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) are not the only members of the C-suite that you need on your side once you as the IT manager have made the decision to transition to a Cloud Security Platform. One of your best, if unsung allies, is your Chief Information Officer (the CIO) or the IT Director who may be the closest to it. The reasons seem obvious enough: the CEO looks at the overall picture before signing off on your project; the CFO will check assets, funding, and return on investment—but these two will not have the grasp and the understanding of the solution that the CIO will have. On the other hand, the CIO — because he is already in the executive level — may have the long-term vision of the company that the CEO has; he also is well aware of the financial impact that a purchase of a solution can have on the organization.
In short, because he shares the same overall perspective of his colleague while being uniquely equipped to manage how the solution can benefit your company, you would need him in your corner should the usual debate erupt in the boardroom.
But being on the same side also means giving him the firepower and ammunition he needs to win this battle. As the IT manager, the last thing you should do is keep silent and leave the fighting to the CIO. Think of yourself as his executive officer in a military campaign; you’ve done the homework, you’re feeding him vital information, and if he unexpectedly needs resources such as data, you have to be there to support him.
The first thing you should provide your CIO is organized data that has gone through analytics. Again, this is where his unique expertise comes into the picture. Chances are in the past, you had provided data about why a Cloud Security solution is critical to your company’s success to the C-level executives. You had to do the data gathering and the analysis. With the CIO’s case, you can strengthen your position by actually giving him the analytics of the data gathered. As Rapidscale points out, CIO’s will be the best leaders in your organization to appreciate what the outcome of the analytics will say about how the Cloud Security Solution can be advantageous to your company. It will not just rattle off increase in productivity hours or less upgrade expenses, but analytics will also offer business insights that will show, for example, how a more secure Cloud Solution can draw in more customers to your business. Your CIO can read the fine print of your analytics in a way that the other officers may not; it’s like a seasoned corporate lawyer going through the legal details of a lengthy contract, as opposed to a department manager who may not know the in’s and out’s of the law.
The second way to support your CIO is to help him emphasize the security that the Cloud Security Solution provides your company at this critical point in time. Data privacy and confidentiality are paramount concerns of all companies in all industries today. What is increasing further risk is the adoption of the Internet of Things infrastructure in most companies, and the employees’ use of mobile devices. Raconteur cites a study by Gartner saying that 20 billion devices will be added to the marketplace by 2020; 40 percent of that will be deemed vulnerable to a data breach or an attack. Your company cannot afford to be on the side of Team Vulnerable, and you must be able to help your CIO make his case to the executive level.
Finally, and this will entail a lot of homework on your part, make the Cloud Security Solution relevant and relatable to the other decision-makers in your company. The Information Age advocates this approach that goes beyond convincing the CEO and the CFO. This would mean showing concrete cases or examples how the Cloud Security can be advantageous to the HR Director or the Marketing Vice President, for example. Creativity and a bit of ingenuity would be needed from your end. For example, you can show how Cloud Security can help the HR Director make an accessible but secure database of talents that can fill up his recruitment pipeline. At the same time, he can also enlighten the Marketing Vice President how Cloud Security can safeguard the thousands of customer profiles derived from the last marketing campaign.
Your CIO will appreciate the help and support that you give him. Ground yourself in research, win over your other potential allies, and once he steps on the plate come budget time, he will hit the home run.