The Art of Decluttering

The Art of DeclutteringIn any climate, (and I mean any), if you’re a CEO, you quickly become intimately acquainted with ‘Change’. You reserve a seat for it at every meeting and every decision you make; for the benefit of you, the people in your care and the customers you serve.

Try to remove ‘Changes’ seat at the table and I promise, very soon, you’ll be dining alone.

Although, I’m not a fan of the overused phrase of ‘an unprecedented time’ in recent industry articles, I do understand that we are, without doubt, experiencing significant change; but as with any challenge, it presents the opportunity to step back, assess where we are and in turn understand how to adapt and move forward.

Don’t get me wrong, like many CEO’s, I’ve had my share of candid conversations with our CFO these last couple of months and like the rest of the planet, the unrelenting focus has been on the health and well-being of our people and our business.

Equally, we have a responsibility to the thousands of businesses who place their Security in our care and trust me, Cyber-Crime hasn’t seen the pandemic as a chance to take a well-earned break (quite the opposite).

The conclusion my CFO and I have drawn however, is that in complicated times, simplicity will always power through.

Fresh out of excuses

You don’t have to look any further than what the lockdown-period has evoked; an innate focus on what is important and utter disdain for anything that takes us away from what really matters.

We have collectively ‘Decluttered’, personally and professionally on a global scale – ‘How’ and ‘Where’ we spend our time has shoe-horned its way squarely back to the top of everyone’s agenda, right where it belongs.

The art of ‘Decluttering’ has taken us from saying ‘If only we had the time’ to being ‘fresh out of excuses’.

You can see it the world over. Unfinished DIY projects have been put to bed, you could eat your dinner off the garage floor, paperwork is filed or shredded, new languages being learned, musical instruments dusted off, gardens actually used; partners and children re-introduced to what each-other look like in natural daylight…you name it.

And that’s just for starters. With no buildings to hide behind, businesses have also consciously needed to declutter, to strip away the superfluous processes and costs and ask themselves some pretty hard questions. How do we keep, motivate, entrust and empower our people to work from wherever they are today?

Being on the same bit of carpet together no longer passes for ‘office culture’. The term ‘Remote User’ has been dropped like a hot-brick (because that’s…um, well everybody). Collaboration has become a meaningful verb, agendas followed; objectives clearer.

You could be totally forgiven for thinking this is what productivity actually looks like. It has been, on every level, the ultimate wake-up call.

Adopt the right technology, not just more technology

So, with the wheels of progress gaining momentum courtesy of the evolving decluttering culture, we’re left with the less than sexy (but blindingly obvious) benefit of stripping out unnecessary costs which brings me to my second point on behalf of simplicity.

Every business I know, is guilty of acquiring a buffet of Technology and Applications to satisfy or ‘scratch-the-itch’ of whatever is needed at that time; leaving most organisations with a frankly ridiculous amount of duplication, cost and (to add insult to injury) rapidly diminishing benefits.

The Cyber Security Industry is one of the biggest culprits. The latest numbers from Gartner suggest that there are now over 3000 vendors and the average organisation has roughly 50 security products to their name…that’s just madness.

To put that in perspective, your average SOC analyst is receiving thousands of ‘Threat-alerts’ a day and (if we’re being generous), can only reasonably investigate around 8 because they’re…well, only human.

And here sits a cruel irony.  The more Security products a business has, the greater the exposure, the bigger the risk. If only a limited number of threats can be investigated, something is going to get missed.

Declutter, declutter, declutter. Bring a smile to your CFO’s face. Right now, they’ll thank you for it. Keep only the technology you need. Lose everything that basically does the same job. Leave yourself only with the Applications that empower your people while keeping them safe.

The fewer the products, the lower the cost and with the right choices, the greater your Security. It’s not only beautiful in its simplicity, it’s now and has always been, our mission to help other businesses do exactly that.

Tragic as the circumstances may be that led us here, let’s be honest, the benefits of decluttering and the departure from ‘business as usual’, is long overdue. The issues of counterproductive technology, unproductive office cultures are far from news.

The only difference now is the unflinching light shining on anything which threatens our progress. How we spend our time.

We may not always like the reasons for ‘Change’ being present but there’s a reason why we reserve a place for it at the table; it has a proven track record of moving us forward, when we’re smart enough to listen to what it has to say.

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