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Booz Allen offers opportunities to solve some of the most important and toughest strategic and technical challenges in both commercial and government markets. I wanted to help C-suite clients achieve organizational change that enhances national security and strengthens commercial organizations and markets.
I work with commercial organizations in financial services, energy, healthcare, and other areas. I advise senior information security and business risk leaders on evaluating their risk environment, overall program, and individual capabilities. I also help them design and implement roadmaps for the future, such as how to counter corporate espionage and help protect proprietary company information.
I planned my education and career trajectory around three central ideas. First, IT security must be incorporated throughout business operations in order to be effective. Second, decision makers must understand the importance of risk management. And, third, it’s vital for security consultants working with commercial clients to have a broad knowledge of national and international security operations.
Many people think of information security as a technology problem. I’ve been fortunate to work with clients and colleagues whose approach has been different. We’ve been able to develop new operational models that connect security and business functions in ways that create real enterprise value. I’ve also helped build industry-leading intellectual capital adopted by many organizations, such as Booz Allen’s CyberM3 reference model.
I think it is important to become a trusted advisor to your clients—to understand that every client organization and challenge is different, requiring unique attention and treatment. It requires caring enough about the success of your client to deliver an uncomfortable message, if need be. It is not a quick or easy process to establish oneself in this role, but the personal and business rewards are well worth it.
Booz Allen is organized culturally and operationally as a collaborative enterprise. We also have a wealth of expertise and capabilities that we can leverage for our clients. With that combination of expertise and culture, not only can we reach across the firm to design customized solutions for clients, but as individuals, we can also seek out opportunities that fit our personal backgrounds and interests.
Booz Allen offers end-to-end delivery capacity and depth, from strategy consulting, to capability design, to implementation and operations. That’s because of our size, depth and breadth of expertise, and knowledge across government, commercial, and nonprofit domains. We apply expertise gained and lessons learned in one domain to other domains. For instance, our commercial clients benefit from our military-grade cybersecurity capability. Also, we aren’t aligned with particular hardware or software vendors, so we can tailor solutions by drawing from any technologies or approaches that help our clients.
I love the energy generated when both the client and the consulting team are excited and passionate about large-scale transformations. For example, changing the underlying cultural approach of an organization to a problem, such as cyber threats, takes a huge team effort. Sometimes my job is to motivate; sometimes clients are already motivated to change. Either way, it can be fun.
Multinational information security program assessments are really exciting. In this instance, we work on behalf of C-suite leaders to systematically gauge capability maturity and target a roadmap of opportunities for improvement. In these engagements, understanding and coordinating the objectives and needs of multiple countries and various business units is a huge challenge. But being able to work with all parties and show clients a way forward is tremendously rewarding.
First, it’s the people I work with; a great team is priceless. They motivate and challenge me to be stronger and more innovative. Second, every day is different; every challenge is different. We help some of the most important government and commercial organizations in the world address challenges that have never before been seen or solved.