Austerity and Agility (or, Soap Gets in Your Eyes)

I live in a very pretty village in the Cotswolds. The cottage where I live is over 200 years old, and has all sorts of things which Estage Agent types would describe as ‘period features’. In English, this includes mice, gaps around the doors and drafts.

One of the other downsides of living in a small village is the water pressure. When I’m in the shower, if someone else in the village goes to fill their kettle to make a cup of tea, the water flow in the shower drops and I am scalded or sprayed with freezing water. Cue cursing and yelling until the water pressure comes back up and I can frantically wash the soap out of my eyes.

Its a pain, but its a pain I can put up with as I love my little cottage and a price worth paying

This morning as I hopped about cursing my neighbours, it struck me is mildly analogous to the situation faced across many Public bodies right now

The reality is, there is only so much money to go around to be spent on cyber defence. Austerity is biting, and biting hard, and its going to be a while before we can all metaphorically wash the soap from our eyes.

So how can we deal with the reality of this? The answer to my mind is to be utterly clear. Austerity means headcount reductions. From Localism in Local Government to continued need for deployment in theatre by our Armed Forces with smaller troop numbers, headcount reductions means two sets of outcomes: firstly, a need to maintain BAU (business as usual) and the second, a clear focus on service delivery needs. Nothing else matters.

To manage this, Agility is the keyword. How can we do things that allow us to meet BAU and service delivery? In the world of security, I believe our time has come to join the party. We are a maturing sector, and can offer a renewed vigour in meeting these needs. We MUST focus on intelligent, automated and integrated systems that offer our customers minimum fuss, maximum intel and do not get in the way of, and indeed promote, Service Delivery.

Similarly, customers must stop being prescriptive, and position their requirements against BAU/Service delivery needs, rather than what they think they might want product-wise

I am going to be talking about these issues at McAfee Summit and IA12, and I’d very much welcome your views

And until the flow of money returns, we will have to work a bit smarter and a bit harder to ensure what flow there is used to best effect. And make sure there is no soap in our eyes


About Graeme Stewart, McAfee

I work for McAfee as Director of Public Sector Strategy and Relations, UK&I
This entry was posted in Bring your Own Device, BYOD, Cloud, Cloud Computing, Cyber, G Cloud, Govt ICT Strategy, Information Security, InfoSec, McAfee, Security. Bookmark the permalink.

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