Twenty years ago. I can’t believe it, but that’s when I first started in the tech industry. It was actually 1996, just before the Y2K timeframe. Cybersecurity really wasn’t even a concern for people at that time. Back then the major issues companies faced were just basic security needs, like setting up a firewall to help identify traffic and spammy emails over dial-up. I remember that malware engines were also really transforming at that time, but the information that was transmitted was also a lot slower. People would get hit with malware and the knowledge around it was a lot slower to learn.
As you probably know, a lot has changed since then. IT professionals have a lot more on their plate than just installing a firewall. The landscape has changed no doubt, and continues to change, faster than some are able to keep up with. This evolution hasn’t really deterred me. Actually, it’s one of the reasons I’ve decided to stay in the tech industry. I think it’s probably the most exciting industry available. Especially when you really start to think about the abilities between software, hardware and silicon chips—almost anything is possible that you put your mind to.
Looking back as a kid, all of these things that we’re experiencing today were things you only saw in the movies. It was all make believe. Who would’ve ever thought that someone would be able to have a conversation with a watch on their wrist? Today, it’s a reality with the Apple watch.
Still, even with all the possibilities that technology presents, I see many either unhappy in their careers or choosing to leave altogether. This frustration with keeping up has been one of the primary drivers of why I started BitLyft. I’ve seen firsthand how these challenges impact organizations and I really just want to be able to alleviate some of that burden.
One of the most defining moments of my career came while working in the enterprise support department at a software company. This experience really helped me understand what people were challenged with and how the technology wasn’t really addressing their issues.
Day after day I would listen to customer’s problems. Security was one of the top burden’s on their plate. These were IT operations persons who suddenly were tasked with not only their general operational day to day tasks, but now they had to attain a whole new level of education. It really was such a burden to them because they didn’t actually get to unload anything else off of their plate.Their workload just kept piling up.
One of the best analogies I can think of to explain this issue that I’m seeing today is that of a building operations manager. This person may be in charge of both the janitorial side of the building and the maintenance side. But suddenly, this person is also tasked with the security of the building. Because business is always moving so fast, senior level management didn’t really have time to think about this decision, so it’s just made. But, this type of task is something this person has never had to think about before and they don’t have proper training. Securing the building is much different than just maintaining it.
I still see this happening to a lot of IT managers who are suddenly tasked with security. People who don’t necessarily have the training are getting launched into something they don’t have any experience in. Leadership thinks they’re going to get a five star security person, but this is incorrect thinking. It’s just not going to work. You wouldn’t take an IT operations person and turn them into a developer, right? Or vice versa. You’re not going to get the A+, rockstar performance. It’s not what they’re passionate about, so you’re going to get a diluted performance.
Beyond this direct experience with the end user, I looked around the space and didn’t really find another company that was offering a good solution. What I did see was people creating very expensive products that were unobtainable for the average business. I saw software that would work only *if* you had the capability to configure it right and maintain it all the time. At that point, you just had a slight chance of being secure.
So not only was I hearing the complaints on the support lines, but I was just generally seeing the lack of having access to a subject matter expert. This is where BitLyft was born.
For companies to be truly successful, security must completely integrate into the business. This includes where they are going and what they are doing on a regular basis. BitLyft is able to snap into the existing business model of these companies to provide a seamless relationship. They might not have experts in security, but they can rely on BitLyft to take care of it.
At the end of the day, I want our customers to feel connected with BitLyft. I want them to be able to say, gosh, you’re not only bringing the product to us, you’re bringing the knowledge and you have our best interests in mind.
But beyond the business, I still personally have this desire to be of assistance when I can. I decided to start writing these articles not only to share some of the insight that I’ve gained throughout my career, but I also want them to be conversation starters.
What kinds of issues are you facing today? I’d love for you to drop your questions and concerns in the comments.
In the meantime, have some fun getting to know me better with these random facts.
- I’m a proud owner of a white Tesla Model 3. The thing that excites me the most about Tesla is their willingness to take on a challenge that everyone else felt like was doomed for failure. There’s only two automakers in the US that haven’t declared bankruptcy, Tesla is one of them. To truly achieve success, you need to approach problems differently. You can’t just look at everyone around you for the answers. Tesla has a true start up mentality. They were able to look outside the norm to create something innovative. My passion for this brand comes out in my new video series, Tech Topics in a Tesla. You can listen to some of the first few episodes here.
- In my spare time I trade in my Tesla for a tractor. To date, I have planted 200+ chestnut trees in my yard. Some people ask me why I decided to start a chestnut farm. (Actually, I call it Chester’s Nut Farm.) I guess my reasoning comes from the nostalgia that it brings. Remember the old song, chestnuts roasting on an open fire? Well, I just have this desire to bring back the times of a positive family atmosphere where people are just sitting around a campfire, literally roasting chestnuts. Those are some of the best memories you have. I think I’ve also taken such an interest in them also because they aren’t very common. Interestingly enough, a blight disease actually killed off a huge majority of the chestnuts in the early 1900s. So there haven’t been a lot in our day and age. I also just enjoy getting outside with my wife to work in the yard. It’s relaxing after a long work week of fighting the bad guys in the cyber crime world.
- I’m really interested in the stock market right now. I like to read what other CEOs and industry experts have to say about what their business is experiencing. It provides a lot of insight into what are some of the challenges and headwinds. I then use these market indicators to help me in my own decision making process. Really, a lot can be gleaned from listening to other publicly traded companies. It helps you understand where the market is going and ultimately what customer challenges are being experienced.
If you haven't already, be sure to connect with me on one of my personal social media pages:
See you next month.