Happy Scribe
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Sean McDermott likes to say that his claim to fame is that he sent the very first email at the U.S. Department of Justice, and while he enjoys being part of that footnote in history, Sean, who is now the founder and CEO of Winward Consulting Group, admits that the tech industry has come a long way since then and it continues to evolve. Right now, the industry finds itself at an intersection where government and the private sector have never needed it more than they do today.

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And it's a CEO's job to bring tech where it is needed most. On this episode of IT, Visionaries, Sean discusses the role his company plays in assisting large organizations at scale, solving their issues. Plus, he explains what CEOs are looking for in today's climate and the future of technology in the workplace. Enjoy this episode. It visionaries is created by the team at Mission Big and brought to you by the Salesforce Customer 360 platform, the number one cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience, build connected experience, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation with the customer at the center of everything you do.

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Learn more at Salesforce.com platform. This podcast is created by the team at Mission Doug.

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Welcome to another episode of it, visionaries, I mean, Phase-Out, host of I.T. Visionaries, and today we have special guests. Shawn, what's going on and how are you? I am doing well. It's a great day to be talking about it, be some IOPS, you know, and everything in between. We're going to talk a lot of tips and best practices for first night leaders out there. You had a long career in this, so let's get into it.

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How'd you get started in technology, though?

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I graduated with a degree in engineering is a small story there. I went wanted colleges to be an art major. And then I decided somehow I went as an art major and came out as a logical engineer. So I'm not entirely sure how that happened. I will say that I wasn't a great engineer. So but then I you know, I went into engineering. I think I eventually ended up in engineering just because I wanted options and I ended up in electrical engineering because it seemed like the most options of engineering at school I went to and so I graduate.

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I really didn't know what I wanted to do. I thought I was going to go into like sales and selling engineering products. But I got a lead on an opportunity with the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. And so I jumped on that and I ended up in the telecommunications services group, which basically provided all telecommunications support for the Department of Justice, Bureau Prisons, FBI, Immigration and Naturalization Service. I never really knew what telecommunications was until I got there.

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It was a really good opportunity because it was an engineering and training position. So I got a lot of training, got my masters paid for and that pretty much started it and really fell in love with it and telecommunications and got pretty involved in the Internet. And my my little claim to fame is I sent the very first email at the Department of Justice because I brought up the very first Internet connection. I registered USDS OJ dot gov.

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So that was pretty much on the forefront of that. And then that led to I always knew I wanted to go into consulting and that led to a position of Booz Allen, which was that one of the premier consulting companies in the world called me and asked me to come in interview. And I went and interviewed and surprisingly got the job and rose to some ranks there for about five years and again, focused on telecommunications. And they wanted me to work on it.

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So I worked on one of my first projects. There was working on the defense messaging system, which was the next generation critical messaging system for all Department of Defense. So like when when a submarine comes out of the water and puts a tower up and sends messages, they were going to go out over the DMS. And so I worked on a lot of the specifications on how to manage this infrastructure once it was up and running. So I got I started getting involved in enterprise management and really fell in love with that and fell in love with the operations side of it.

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This was in the beginning when IP networks were just being built for the first. I actually was the manager of the first IP network built in a Department of Justice, and it might have been one of the first built in civilian agencies. And we were on the forefront working with this company called Cisco that no one ever heard of. And it just kind of led to one thing to another. And I eventually fell in love with the operation side. And while a lot of people were excited about building networks and building these first generation IP networks, which eventually became the Internet, I was more fascinated with the operation side of it and how to run it once it was built.

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And nobody was really thinking about that at the time. And that led to about five years after being a Booz Allen. I decided that I had better ideas and I started my first company when we're Consulting Group, which is still around today, and we've been around for twenty three years and we're one of the global leaders on enterprise management for a Fortune 500 companies. And we support a number of large networks for Department of Defense. Yeah, one.

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And I want to get into to all of that. You know, you call yourself a serial entrepreneur. You started a handful of businesses and obviously have run Winward for twenty plus years. It's a little bit of a different path to be able to juggle those things. How have you managed?

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I think I'm more of a parallel entrepreneur with just a little harder because I tend to start companies at the same time and makes for long days. But, you know, one of the things is I've hired some really good people along the way. I've got great teams. When you get really good people surrounding you and smarter people than I that are able to execute and it gives you more time to do some things. And I've been lucky that I've started several companies along the way and.

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Had a lot of success at home and was able to experience a lot of things like raising money and raising venture capital and getting involved in that world, which is interesting, and bootstrapping other companies by ourselves. So it's a testament to the people that I work with and the ability for for us all to be on the same page and be very focused on what we're doing and and working really well together. And I would say a lot of the people that work for me really are some of my my favorite people see it.

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Tell me tell me a little bit about the types of companies that you work with it when word and some of the things that you're helping helping those companies with. Sure. So there's really two kind of areas that we were at when we do a lot of work on the federal side, the federal government, and do a lot of work with Department of Defense. And we also do a lot of work in the financial services, telecommunications and insurance areas.

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The common theme to both of those areas, because a lot of companies look at it very differently. And I know a lot of software companies we work with, they they call federal public sector and they kind of operate independently. I experience that firsthand because one of the companies that I founded in 2004 eventually sold to BMC Software, and I spent a year at BMC as vice president of their service automation group, which is about two hundred two hundred fifty million dollars annual business.

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So I, I see it from their side. But from our perspective, it Winward, we consider our customers the same, whether they're federal or commercial. The common theme here is that there are large companies there, large infrastructure. So we really deal in scale. So all our customers, our commercial customers are Fortune 500 companies running massive global infrastructures, big data centers, highly driven. You think that a consulting company like us would work with people who don't have a lot of experience?

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And it's actually quite the opposite. We work with very sophisticated IT organizations dealing with very sophisticated problems that scale introduces. So if you're a hospital system, maybe you have, say, 50 servers and a few applications that you're working. And we work with a bank that has one hundred and eighty thousand servers and massive amounts of transactions and dealing with a business, a business that works on microseconds. So that's really our forte. And when you look at the federal side, we work with the two largest networks in the world.

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One is one is the largest private network in the world and the other one is the largest civilian network in the world. And again, it all comes down to scale. So for us, really, our focus at Winward is to help these companies manage these large infrastructures much more efficiently. We don't actually manage them for them. We don't have people sitting in network operating centers and help desk, but we provide them all the tools to do it better.

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We we provide data analytics tools. We provide service desk applications, provisioning applications, configuration management, monitoring of infrastructure, all those tools. And we link them all together and we integrate them together. And now what we're doing is we're talking about IOPS and that's a big kind of core function for us. The core area is how to bring all of this stuff together and apply machine learning around it to really elevate IT operations to another level.

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And what are some of the things that you hear talking to CEOs and I.T. leaders like, you know, obviously the I.T. sprawl or tool sprawl that you've talked about is a very real thing. But what are some of the things that you're hearing folks concerned about specifically with, you know, obviously everything going on with covid, but but even beyond that?

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Sure.

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I think the the really the there's several major areas that they're thinking about kind of on top of mind constantly. First of all, security, it's always security is always top of mind. And it's pervasive in everything they do and every decision they make. Right. And assessing risk management of any new initiative, assessing risk management of current initiatives. And it's been very interesting with the move to remote and how fast things have been moving that we're hearing a lot from CIOs right now trying to say, OK, now we need to go back and make sure we haven't skipped any steps or things have fallen through the cracks that may open up risk for us.

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So that's one area that's a big conversation, another big areas around data and data analytics. And it's becoming in every facet of the world. We're becoming a data driven world, whether it's data driven through social media or. Buying metrics that companies are using, trying to figure out how to market products and sell. We're seeing the same thing in I.T. where trying to use data, trying to harness data, especially in a time where we have more data coming into it than ever.

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It's moving up by multiple factors. Every year. More things are instrumented, more data is coming in. So a lot of conversations around how to sort through that data, how to make decisions, how to be more proactive, how to manage data. I think the other thing, cost is always on the top of the list of things to talk about and people are worried about. And I.T. operations is, you know, it's a cost center. Right.

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And I think a lot of us want to include I.T. operations in the revenue discussion. And I think there's definitely facets to that. And ensuring availability of services to consumers or end users is critical for revenue generation. But I think it operation still has this perception of being a cost center and the demands continue to go up. While the budget doesn't necessarily go with the increase of demand, it's not linear. So CEOs spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to manage all this and how to make good investments and how to keep the lights on while also making strategic investments to modernize and become more agile and with cloud and things like that and and how to how to optimize cost spend.

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And that's where Tools From comes in and we talk about a lot is there's just a tremendous amount of money being spent in the tooling of it, and it's run relatively unchecked. And there is a tremendous amount of time and money going into that. And that's a big area that we think that CIOs can be saving money.

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Yeah. Tell me a little bit about red monarchal. Sure. So Red Monarchal, all my companies, eventually they they're born out of my consulting company. And for the last 20 years, we worked with organizations that come to us and say, hey, we have too many tools, we have too many security tools, we have too many operations, tools and monitoring tools. And and I asked three very simple questions. I said, how much money you spend on tools per year?

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How many tools do you have and how are those tools working for you? And I still haven't had anyone to answer the question because they can't. And that, to me is a fundamental problem. When you start looking at organizations that we work with, Fortune 500 companies could be spending twenty five fifty million dollars a year on all these tools like service. This is not uncommon for a Fortune 500 company to buy a tool that costs them a million dollars a year.

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That's common. It's not rare at all. And when you start compounding the fact that a lot of these Fortune 500 companies could have anywhere from two hundred fifty to four hundred different tools they use to manage the business of it, then it becomes a very big problem. And so for the last 20 years, we've been asked to do this as a consultant. We've come in and we would do assessments and engagements and interviews and collection of data and ultimately provide a report and with recommendations.

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And the customers love the data. The problem is, is that by doing it that way, it became very much an annual effort. And customers just don't want that. They don't want to pay for an annual audit every year over and over and over again unless they're regulatory compliant, which like an accountant, they need an audit every year from an accounting firm. So we we kind of set out to relook at the problem. And two thousand eight, we launched Red Monarchal, which is a SaaS platform that allows us to automate most of this process.

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And we have connections to pull in their tools from and discover their tools and bring them into a portfolio. And we have analysts that we have this large database of tools that we've already profiled. So all they really have to do is identify that they have a tool and we match it to our database and we fill out all the information about it, the other side of the equation. So they need to understand what their needs are. And so we've created this taxonomy of capabilities that they can pick from to build their requirements.

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And right now we have about five thousand normalise capabilities in that database broken down into the 40 functional areas and some function. So it's the only large scale taxonomy on the market today. And we've searched around and looked at people like Gartner and IDC and Forrester, an analyst, firms trying to find models that we could work off of. And we. And so we essentially built our own. So those two things allow us to, in a matter of a week, essentially answer those three questions that I brought up.

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And the results are startling. I mean, we were working with a large entertainment company right now that's got two hundred fifty tools. And just from the first 50, we we used as a proof of concept, we identified two million dollars in savings. So and the savings isn't even part isn't the whole answer. Right. It's it's the risk of not being able to they don't understand the gaps that they have. So and this is really apparent in the security world.

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So you spend millions of dollars a year on security tools to secure your environment, not knowing that you actually have gaps and you have these requirements that aren't being met. And every one of those requirements that isn't being met is a risk point that can be taken advantage of by someone on the outside. So our tool allows us to assess those gaps and help CIOs make decisions on where to make investments. And so these security gaps are really high priority. We need to fill them.

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And we can actually, through our our technology, our database, tell them the exact tools that will be able to fill those gaps and they can make acquisition decisions much quicker.

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I love that kind of before and after imagery in Artlessness can check it out on red monarchal dot com. But you know, the before one hundred and sixty two tools after one hundred and forty, you know, eliminated twenty two tools due to capability overlaps and things like that. Right.

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I do have to ask though of the 22 tools that got eliminated, I'm curious for in this example, but I'm curious like how many business owners or folks within the organization were like still using. Those are clamoring for those. Right. Like part of the politics of being the CIO is that you want to keep the line of business owners happy. So I'm curious, like as you identify these things and as people look at cutting these type of capabilities, like what happens when when those two things are at odds.

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So that's a really good question and it comes up all the time. So one of my customers actually said for the first time, we have empirical data to back up these decisions that we're making, because the reality is, is that the people who have to make these decisions, they really don't understand this technology because you're talking about tools across multiple domains.

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And a vice president who's trying to make financial decisions may not actually know exactly what that tool does. So he doesn't know if it's needed or not. So he relies on his people. And, you know, the reality is, is that we don't like people don't like change. Right. And you always have that issue of people saying, hey, let's we can't get rid of my tool. My tool is important. Is it, though, or is it really important to that person and their career and their skill sets?

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And it's it's a fear that they have that they won't be able to that they'll be out of a job as a tools. Not there are. They tie their identity to some of these tools. That happens pervasively across organizations we work with. So what this allows is it allows these decision makers to make very empirical data and sit down and say, why is this tool any better? Because this tool over here does all the exact same things.

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And, you know, it creates a much more data driven dialogue. And a lot of times the person doesn't really have much of an argument to that. Right. And but the the reality is, is that, you know, these companies don't want to lose good people. Right. They'll reskill that person on to another tool. I mean, very rarely do we actually see people like go because a tool was replaced. They get scaled up on the new tool.

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Right. So but it's fear. It's a fear based thing. And most of the most of the companies that the other thing that really has created a lot of tool sprawl is acquisitions. And when you start talking about the companies that we deal with, these Fortune 500 companies, they've all acquired companies over the years. And a lot of them that's a big part of their growth strategy is through acquisition. And we have like I said, we have an entertainment company that just bought another company.

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And it's a 90 percent overlap of tools because they were independently running companies, independent media companies essentially doing similar things and they were bought for the content. But the underlying infrastructure is exactly the same. They got servers, they got monitoring, they got databases, they got phone systems and VoIP, they got all the same stuff. So there's one almost a hundred percent overlap. So it's a huge cost take out and that's usually included in the acquisition. This is a we can bring these two companies to get.

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And save one hundred million dollars a year in operating costs. Well, a lot of operating costs also come from it. But what ends up happening is these tools are migrated. They aren't replaced. And they compound and they buy another company or or they're on to the next acquisition. It can't keep up with the the last acquisition. They're on to the next one. And you just end up with a lot of duplicate tools that way. And that's very common in Fortune.

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One thousand. So you end up with three different helpdesk systems. They don't need three different, but no one's really done the analysis to figure out what is the they know it's not right and they know that it could be better, but they never sat down and figured out what is this really costing us? And when they realize, like, wow, this is costing us four or five, 10 million dollars a year. That's real money. Yeah, that's 80 staff.

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Right.

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That's that's real money that they can use. And it's funding for a new project, it's all. So once they start understanding the economics of it, it usually drives those decisions.

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That's a fascinating anecdote about the companies combining. I know it's like, you know, the most practical, like everyday example for, you know, like every single thing. But obviously it happens all the time. And it's not just like you said that the one massive company acquiring another. It's also like everything in between. Right. It's like all of the smaller ones that are doing that, that that you do have that. I mean, it's a great point about the hundred million dollar overlap in in business processes and and specifically, just like, you know, the technologies that keep all that stuff running.

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Now, any things that for the CEOs out there that are, you know, in the middle of those kind of M&A cycles or are looking at technologies like, you know, so are they are they are they just using the tools as part of the M&A process now like to be prescriptive rather than just like post?

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Yeah, I sometimes probably not as much as I would want, but the M&A process is very complicated. Right. And having gone through a couple of M&A processes and having run and being bought and going through the process from that side and having bought company, has it becomes part of the M&A process of a couple billion dollar companies? I understand it. There's there's a dynamic that when you're doing a large scale and by the way, I mean, we do a lot of work in telecommunications.

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I mean, we've been in the telecommunications industry for twenty three years. My very first customer was BellSouth down in Atlanta and talk about a sector that has done massive consolidation, divestiture and then back through consolidation. And we've gone through this so many. I've been in a situation where I've had three customers all get acquired by the same company at the same time. So that was a very odd situation where one company bought three of our customers that we were actively consulting with.

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And so that's a massive industry that's gone through consolidation. And there's a lot of limitation of data, right. When you're going through an M&A, as much as I would love for them to use our tool as a prescriptive, a lot of times they just don't have access to the acquiring company, may not have access to the data. They may not be able to get the data to fully populate our tool. Right. So just due to regulatory issues and things like that or sensitivity of data, that's usually not a lot of people involved in that acquisition.

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And the people that are responsible for executing on that usually aren't at the table. They're not in the room when the decisions are being made. So as much as I'd love it to be more prescriptive up front, it usually is not. Usually the decision to save one hundred million dollars are made by accountants, not necessarily by the I.T. execution, the execution of the business. So they're usually kind of said, hey, by the way, of that hundred million, you've got to save thirty have at it.

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And then they're kind of on their own. And that's where we would get involved because then they're like, OK, now, now that we have access to the data, two companies are talking acquisitions gone through, we can start exchanging data. And what we normally do is we bring up two instances like we have the instance of our existing customer, and then we'll bring up a new instance for the acquired company and populate that. And we're able to join the two instances together and do the analysis that way and essentially lays out the roadmap to lay out their their five year roadmap on what they should be doing.

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Because a lot of these systems, it's not easy to migrate when you've got to multinational billion dollar companies. It's not an easy thing to migrate customer care or help desk systems. There's a lot of data migration and data reconciliation. This data fields may be very different in one company than. And how do you map them over and have you make adjustments to our systems that don't have actually have that data and now they have to have that data? So it's complicated and it could take a while and some systems could be migrated in six months.

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It might take three years.

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Yeah, it's pretty amazing to think about where that stuff is now and where it's going to be in the future. Right. It's like, you know, all of these I mean, there's still so much like novel stuff with these, you know, with technology, but with increasing tools and different things that help you like unzip and zip. You know, all of these it's pretty it's pretty amazing to think about.

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Like, what if acquiring a company is, you know, and having to do that piece of the transformation is what if it's all decreased? Like, what if, you know, ten years from now it takes weeks rather than months or years, you know what I mean? Like it. The speed in which that, like, technology leaders could, like, acquire other companies and actually implement them could be significantly faster. That's a huge difference in how you look at em.

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And they. Absolutely.

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And the payoff. Right. I mean, the real eye is if you think you can save one hundred million dollars in operating expenses and it may take you three years to get there and you can do it in 12 months, that changes the dynamics of the deal. Right. So, yeah. And I think, you know, I think technology one thing that I feel about this whole Kobad thing, which is it's been interesting for us and we really haven't seen a downtick in any of our businesses.

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And I don't I think about that a lot. Right. And I think that really what we're in this era of technology transformation and the way out of a lot of this covid and pandemic is through technology. And we look at contact tracing and the ability to use cell phones now and Apple and Google working together on APIs on how to do anonymous contact tracing. And I live part time in Virginia and Virginia, just released their first first state to release a covid-19 contact tracing app and the technology that's being used now in the computational technology of accelerating vaccines and research and things like that.

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Even to my business, where you're looking at helping companies go through digital transformation. And I believe that companies that are not embracing technology are not really going to be viable in the future. And it's a pretty broad statement and pretty bold statement to make. But I think that it's not a hard one to agree with because you would never go to a bank that doesn't have an app to do remote deposits. Why would I ever go to a bank branch anymore?

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So starting a bank that doesn't have that type of technology, you're dead before you even get the doors open. And covid is really kind of forcing people to rethink how they do everything and how restaurants are now getting access to customers and and delivery apps and food apps. And Zoom has taken over conferencing. And the feedback that we're getting is, is that people feel almost as connected through Xoom than they did and face to face being in the office. So we're in a very interesting time right now.

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And I think that as a technologist, it's very exciting to me because I think that there's nothing like a crisis to create innovation. Right. And you can go back in time and look at the innovation that we through world wars and things like that that came out of all that. And, you know, missile technology that we took from Germany in World War Two became our our space program. So and a lot of the technology that we're dealing with today, I mean, the Internet really was designed to be a highly resilient defense network in case of nuclear war.

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It's a it's a nonpoint to point rewritable network that in case a nuclear war happened and something that knocked out the entire communications systems, it would reroute around it. That is the Internet now. So I think it's a really exciting time. And I know a lot of people are out there struggling and hurting and definitely empathetic to that. But as a technologist, we're in a really interesting period of time right now.

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Switching gears to IOPS, it's something you've written about in the past where you think we're at as an industry in a IOPS.

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We're in a very early stages and I'm actually writing a book, so hopefully that will be out in the fall. And, you know, the interesting thing right now is that AI is really a marketing term and we're not really doing artificial intelligence in IT operations. We're just on the cusp right now of applying machine learning to its operations. And there's a lot of room to grow here. And I think it's to me I've been doing. I've been doing operations since nineteen ninety seven.

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I mean, really, since ninety two ninety I am so again I'm now dating myself, I'm sold but I mean when we built our first IP network at the Immigration and Naturalization Service and we started that in nineteen ninety, I was dealing with how to manage and operate this new IP network that no one ever put in before. And we've made advances in IT operations, but nothing really.

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I don't know, I kind of look back on my kind of doing the same stuff. Right, or monitoring equipment. We're opening up tickets and you know, there's been a lot of promise of technology advances that we're going to solve a lot of the problems of I.T. operations that I don't think really came through. And but we've made some advances. We've made advances in automation. We've made advances in discovery. And discovery allows us to piece things together as kind of leading to understanding how business services work and being able to resolve things better because, you know, dependencies.

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So there's been no service desk has been advances in service desk technology.

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And but I think I it's a game changer. I think just across the board and where we're seeing it right now really play out. And again, it's really it's machine learning is in the event management and monitoring space. And it makes sense because there's so much data coming in. I refer to that for that. The infrastructure is just create massive amounts of data so much more than 10 years ago, and it's just increasing as the infrastructure gets more complicated.

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You know, ten years ago we were talking about virtualization. Now we have containers and micro services. Everything's kicking off data and sending data out Iot. You're talking about four billion Iot devices today, going to twenty five billion in the next five years or something like that. Everything's being instrumented and it's just creating massive amounts of data. And we need machine learning to process that data. And that's where we are right now. But we're just at the very, very beginning of this because it's going to start becoming more prevalent and in everything that's going to become prevalent in service desk and customer interactions and trending and understanding patterns and predictive interactions with customers.

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More interesting conversational uses with customers now and with these systems and better information for IT leaders right where we can start using A.I. to look at massive amounts of data to make better decisions that we weren't able to process before. So I'm really excited about it. I think it's it could be the most fundamental change in the history of my history of working and in operations. And we're just at the very beginning of it. I'm really excited to see where this is going to go.

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What are your thoughts on the future of security in cybersecurity and where we're at? So that's that's a very timely question. We just we just released a survey a few days ago to CIOs, IT leaders, CIOs, all senior people talking about the future of security over the next 12, 18 months. It's interesting to us because of covid and again, this this rush to remote working and which I think is going to stick around for a long time, really, quite honestly.

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I mean, even my companies have said that they really don't want to go back to the office. And we're really no position to ask people to go back to the office if they're not comfortable. And the longer this plays out, this, the more normal it's going to be. It's going to be harder to get people back to the office. So this remote working is and and the migration to cloud applications, the combination of these two things is going to be a very interesting security situation looming for us of how do you protect cloud data for people who are remotely all over the world.

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So you've got almost unlimited access points going into cloud based systems, and it's almost feels like a security manager's worst nightmare. But there's a lot of technology out there that can mitigate this. So we just we just released a survey to be to really kind of understand how where people are thinking about security, how prevalent do they need to be doing audits. And some of their early results are coming out that a lot of the criticality of understanding your security, infrastructure and the coverage of your security requirements and the understanding of your gaps and the criticality of your gaps is through our preliminary results of the survey are coming out really loud and clear right now that security leaders, they're spending money and.

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Security will always be an area spending money because it's all about risk mitigation and but there is there's always this sense of paranoia that they're not covering their needs enough. So we're seeing right now a lot of responses around understanding how in a continual process of understanding how their investments are, meeting their security needs and if they're not, how to make preemptive moves to that. One of the reasons why we commissioned this study is because I read Monarchal. We're in a we're in a very unique position that since we profile these tools and we have the security requirements, capabilities already in our system, we can show that data very, very quickly.

[00:37:20]

We can actually and using things like Ossi standards and standards, being Abels, where we're incorporating Nyst and Elci standards into our platform so that we'll be able to clearly show a CIO real time. How many what tools have I I have? What investments have I met? How are they meeting my requirements, either my internal requirements or my regulatory requirements? What are the gaps and what are the priorities and criticality of those gaps? So I can make decisions very quickly on how to fill those gaps.

[00:37:58]

So we'll have this survey out in the market for about another month and then we'll be publishing that survey through our our market research partner, Helix Market Research. You Google Helix Market Research, Helix, Amazon.com, and we'll be publishing the results through our partner. There are dotcom.

[00:38:19]

OK, let's get into our lightning round. These questions are fast and easy, just like the Salesforce Customer 360 platform, the number one cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience going to Salesforce.com platform to learn more. We love Salesforce. They've been with us since the very beginning of the show and they're presenting sponsor. Check them out. Salesforce.com Serzh platform lighting round questions. Shaun, are you ready? I am ready. Number one, what app on your phone is the most fun Instagram?

[00:38:49]

What hobby or habit did you pick up during shelter in place? I am exercising like a mad dog and I also picked up a bad habit of eating ice cream.

[00:39:00]

Do you have a book or TV show or podcast that you've been bingeing?

[00:39:05]

No, I've I've actually just really been just reading a lot of books. I just go on to Kindle and look at the top twenty five books and pick some fiction and read it.

[00:39:18]

How often do you get confused with Sean McDermott, the coach of the Bills.

[00:39:23]

Not very often, but at one point he was being considered for the head coaching job of the Redskins and living in Virginia and being a lifelong Redskins fan and a season ticket holder. For fifty years I decided that there were there wasn't enough room in Washington, DC for two Sean McDermott. So he ended up going to the bill. So it all worked out well for us. It did work out well. It worked out well for the bills. I don't know well for the Redskins, but yeah, I suppose maybe it know yet.

[00:39:51]

Ron Rivers great. He's a cool guy, so I'm I'm a fan.

[00:39:55]

We'll see. The Redskins, I think, have become the Red Sox of the NFL. I always hope in one day we'll turn it around. Yeah.

[00:40:04]

What advice would you give to a first time CEO? Oh, that's a good one. I think I keep going back to this and everything that I do. And it's really about communication. The best leaders, whether they're CEOs or any leader. Right. Are at their finest when they're communicating.

[00:40:26]

And I think IT organizations, they're very strategic and they're very important and more important now than ever. And as a CIO, really putting together a vision and communicating that vision relentlessly will pay off in dividends down the road.

[00:40:44]

If you weren't doing this, if you were in a dual hatted CEO and running companies, what do you think you'd be doing?

[00:40:53]

Boy, I always had this fantasy of owning a dive shop and somewhere in the Caribbean and just the scuba diving all day and sitting on the beach drinking Corona. So maybe one day when I retire, I'll become a scuba shop somewhere down in the Caribbean. What question do you never get asked that you wish you were asked questions? A lot of times from I do a lot of mentoring and anybody who's an honorable. Or I'll take a call with anybody.

[00:41:28]

I think a lot of people, the question that they don't ask is what could go wrong? Because the entrepreneur journey, a lot of people see the results of it, especially if you're successful, but they don't really ask the questions of what it takes to actually get there. They see the end and they and they got the idea in the beginning. But the the part in the middle is really that's the journey. And a lot of people ask questions about your successes, but they don't really ask questions about your failures.

[00:42:02]

And to me, the failures are really what define people and how you are able to take that failure and apply it and be successful at the next thing. And you may have a failure in the next thing and you apply that that lesson. So to me, that's probably the I would I would like to ask people more about their failures than their successes, because that's where they really learn.

[00:42:29]

A lot of people don't ask those questions and that's it.

[00:42:32]

That's all we have for today. Thanks so much for joining us. Any final thoughts? Anything to plug? No, you can you can find my company, Winward Dotcom, read Monarchal and read Monarchal dot com. And you can read my blog at Wheels Up WorldCom. So I post things about every week there. And so we also up WorldCom. Awesome.

[00:42:56]

Thanks again. Take care. Thank you. Been a pleasure. It visionaries is created by the team at Mission Dog and brought to you by the Salesforce Customer 360 platform, the number one cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience, build connected experience, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at Salesforce.com platform.