Recently I listened to an old TED Talk delivered by Guy Kawasaki several years ago. Guy is the former chief evangelist of Apple and prolific author. He was talking about the impact of innovation and change. And he offered a stark perspective of companies that are operating within an industry that are blind to the technology advancements that will radically change their world. Rarely are they able to “jump the curve” to the next business model.

Our security industry is no different. Many of us are so busy doing what we do and how we do it that we either cannot see what is happening or believe we have enough time to react to it after we get through the next year or two.

I have said before that a business leader’s main job is making decisions every day based on how they weigh the risk as well as the opportunity.

The opportunity is a personal transformation in the age of digital transformation. We must be able to learn (consume and understand information) differently. We must be able to understand and act (how we process and make decisions) differently. We must be able to redefine how our people perform roles in processes with machines. A new intelligence is being nurtured and is rapidly coming of age.

Our organizations are no different.


“Every company is a software company. You have to start thinking and operating like a digital company. It’s no longer just about procuring one solution and deploying one. It’s not about one simple software solution. It’s really you yourself thinking of your own future as a digital company.”
– Satya Nadella CEO, Microsoft


What does a digital company look like? It no longer thinks of “digital” as enhancing or supporting a traditional method of doing things. It transforms, it innovates, it displaces and it transforms. It “jumps the curve.” For example, you move from a lock and guard model in the 1970s and 1980s, to an electronic model in the 1990s, to a business process model, and now a business intelligence platform for operations and risk.

You recognize the devices you think are driving a market are really just a piece of a puzzle. And the winners will be able to put the pieces together in a compelling and valuable way.

I have met many in this industry who are having difficulty seeing their way right now. But this digital transformation is not waiting for them to see. What do I recommend? First, like Jim Collins said in his seminal book “Good to Great,” understand the model you are in today. Break it down into core processes. Understand what touch points of value are and what are not. Manage to measures of performance that anchor the core goals of your organization. You many need a consultant who truly understands lean methodology to do this. And that consultant needs to understand risk. And if you are really fortunate, they will infuse their recommendations about your gaps in performance through the lens of emerging technology so that you can create a path to value that “jumps the curve.” And then, and only then, will you be able to answer the question: “Will we survive?”