RSA conference was slow this year. There was less noise, less disposable gadgets and fortune wheels spun slower. San Francisco was still flooded with people and hotel prices spiked because of the limited space. Some panelists were better prepared than others.
There might be a shift from technology and business to simple tube-marketing at RSA. We also noticed less enthusiasm around innovation at least from some CISOs speakers. Lessons learned: don’t email, don’t call because we don’t have time, and startups are there to make CISOs look good in front of their bosses. Which might be a push against empty tube-marketing that is surrounding us everywhere. CISOs also mention that the budget is not there to justify a pilot or to engage with a startup in a proof of concept.
If there is a tech a CISO wants to bring into the organization a way to convince a CEO to invest in proof of concept project with a startup might be by using a recruitment analogy. Nearly 50% of new hires including C-level fail within 6 months. Hiring an employee is costly in many aspects:
= (Cost of Hiring + Cost of Onboarding and Training + Severance + Lost in Productivity) * Number of Employees Lost
Proof of concepts require expenditure, stretch IT budgets and they fail at a similar rate as new hires. However, any incremental change of an organization is driven by people and technology. You need to have both to move forward. Reluctance to bring innovation and talent to an organization is the first step on a downward slope which many organizations learned the hard way. Proof of Concepts have a lesser impact on the bottom line than new-hires and the overall fit can be validated faster. Establishing a vehicle to screen, select and deploy new tech within the organization it’s a long term investment in a competitive advantage which will help the organization in the long run.