Are You Complacent or Productively Paranoid?
During the conferences and tradeshows where we’ve exhibited over the years, we meet many IT professionals from a variety of companies and industries. We find that many IT professionals fall into one of two types at conferences.
- The Complacent Professional: When asked if they are interested in talking about their disaster recovery and cybersecurity strategies, they’ll usually say something like, “Oh, I’ve been using product X for five years and it’s been working just fine. Besides, I really wouldn’t have the time to take on a new project right now to fix something that’s not broken.”
- The Productively Paranoid Professional: When we ask the same question, we might hear something like, “We have been using product Y for a few years, but I need to know if there is anything different or new that we should be looking at. I worry that if I don’t keep looking, something catastrophic could happen because I didn’t do due diligence.”
So, who needs the most help with their cybersecurity and/or disaster recovery?
Typically, when we leave a meeting with the Productively Paranoid Professional, we don’t have a reason to do business.
Why? It may seem like this is exactly the kind of person who can be helped because they are willing to seek help.
Actually, the Productively Paranoid Professional is just paranoid enough to continue educating themselves and building their systems based on the knowledge they’ve been collecting through vendor meetings over the years. They take meetings with new vendors to make sure they are checking all the right boxes.
That means it is likely that they keep their systems updated, solutions modernized, and best practices honed. Sure, we may find an opportunity to help here and there, and some paranoia isn’t productive, but these IT directors largely stay on stop of their infrastructure.
So, you guessed it. The Complacent Professional who doesn’t want to meet with us usually needs our help the most.
Deep down, I believe they want to do better. On the surface, they may be so overwhelmingly busy that they don’t take new vendor meetings. But that busyness hides the fact that they may be so comfortable with what they are doing that, one day, they will be really surprised when they wake up to find their systems have failed due to a cyberattack or data loss incident.
The Complacent Professional needs to realize three important things:
- Just because something hasn’t yet happened doesn’t mean it won’t. Not acting to keep up on the latest cybersecurity and disaster recovery best practices increases the probability of a devastating cyberattack or data loss incident. As we see with many non-IT examples in the world around us, such as taking care of our health, car maintenance, house repairs, etc., we cannot assume that the lack of a negative event means it will never happen.
- The best IT professionals surround themselves with the best experts and specialists. Chief Information Officers and Directors of IT at larger organizations understand they cannot do everything themselves. They rely on staff and vendors to shore up gaps that fall outside their specialty areas, freeing themselves up to be more strategic and efficient.
- Not modernizing and adapting to change can eventually cost you your job…and career. Cybersecurity and technology evolve fast. Yes, today you might be able to command IT within your company and drive away uncomfortable questions about how you run your ship. Eventually, though, your lack of action will catch up to you—potentially harming your organization along with your career.
If you’re very confident in what you’ve been doing with your cybersecurity and disaster recovery and haven’t changed anything recently, you may find that meeting with a few different vendors from conferences may be worth your while. Acknowledging that you need help with specific pieces of your IT environment can also free up your busy schedule and allow you to become more strategic on a daily basis—giving you more job and career satisfaction.
What kind of IT professional are you?
Are you ready to offload some of your burden and become productively paranoid?
For more information, contact Lesilie@thinkgard.com