In the beginning it was the New Economy . . .
Dan muses about the ups and downs of the past fifteen years!
Another one of those Dan’s New Leaf Posts . . . .
Hello Friends of infotex!
When we started infotex, on 07/24/2000, the buzzword was “The New Economy.”
Everything was e-this and e-that. E-business promised e-things, like e-banking and e-malls, and while our brainstorm included e-merging threats and many other e-things, we decided e was just a buzz letter, and thus our initial mission e-voked the notion that a “systems design approach to everything” would produce an excellent “Information Architecture.” The name “infotex” is short for Information Architects. Our mission was mostly philosophical and part of our “incubation.”
But purposefully . . . . very deliberately . . . we knew that “information architecture” was just the beginning of the path we took to “find the niche.” We were “incubating,” and in the year 2000, we found that installing firewalls was much easier to sell than IT planning and “systems design.” While nobody was interested in systems design, our “systemic approach to everything” was applied to . . . .well, everything . . . . and that created some habits and disciplines we still leverage. Likewise, the only part of the “blueprint” that was selling well was the “documentation,” a set of policies and procedures that have evolved over time to become our well-known “IT Governance Library.”
And we discovered . . . . very early on, in real-life examples . . . that the world’s greatest firewall would not stop the network engineer from using “password” for the firewall’s password. And we realized this notion applied to all things technical . . . . the world’s greatest technical tools were worthless, without proper education, motivation, and activation.
We started calling that notion “Awareness.” Way back in 2000.
Then the New Economy quickly became the Bad Economy, and the first round of buzzwords our company suffered through died away. And on 08/02/01, we advertised our first “Security Awareness Workshop,” to be presented in the Kokomo Country Club, one week after what turned out to be 911. We now believe that it was right then, during the few weeks before and after 911, that our entire history was molded. We now believe that because we had that Security Awareness workshop, right after 911, infotex accidentally positioned ourselves as “Security Experts.”
And we ran with it. We ran through many iterations, taking us through a strong relationship with Purdue’s CERIAS group to founding “bleedingsnort.com,” an organism that morphed over time to what is now “emergingthreats.net.”
“Security” morphed into “Manage Technology Risk,” and our mission “hatched” into:
“We help high quality Clients manage technology risk.”
And the mission stayed there ever since, serving us well, keeping us focused on what is important. You can say that, on 911, we found our niche.
But did the niche find us?
Maybe not as fast as we would have hoped. Soon after 911, a lot of heads went back into the sand. Fortunately our friends at the Indiana Bankers’ Association also saw the need. Laurie Rees and Joe Dehaven have worked with us since 2003 supporting the notion . . . the need to manage technology risk through education, motivation, and activation. When others were wondering whether there really was a niche, the Indiana Bankers’ Association was there for us. They believed in us. For example, while in 2005 they had a hard time understanding what we meant by log monitoring, they believed that we knew what we were talking about, and ten years later every bank in the nation is clamoring to find such a solution. They turned out to be right.
And while we weathered the great recession, a “gestalt” began to emerge . . . . to evolve . . . from our systemic approach to everything. And as one of our first Clients put it . . . one of our mentors, Larry Turner . . . . the whole became greater than the sum of the parts.
Fifteen years after we started this evolution, there are no more heads stuck in the sand. For us, it may have taken a while, but the Cyber Cybersecurity Buzzword Age is . . . indeed . . . a New Economy!
And we’re still here!
Celebrating an anniversary should be about celebrating the reason we’re still here: we’ve had some greats among us through the years. From now until the 2016 Infotex Jam, our celebration honors them. Some of them went on to become master coders. Some of them are now rich! Some of them left us in a hurry, and some with ample notice.
Three of them have passed on.
We miss them all, though we continue to wish them all well! We are so grateful for their help to get us where we are! Thank you so much!
However, as if it was a living organism, infotex remained resilient, as those great people came and left.
For those still with us are truly the greatest! They continue to serve our Clients with humility. They still hold the intense motivation to achieve excellence by exceeding expectations.
And we learned that there were meta-reasons for infotex. A “meta-mission,” so to speak. We learned that infotex now exists because we love what we do, because of that we really do comprise a living organism!
So Happy Anniversary infotex, our living organism, our buzzword, the gestalt that helps high quality Clients manage technology risk!
Help infotex celebrate our 15th Anniversary 07/24/15 through 07/24/16!
We were “too darn busy” to organize a grand celebration on 07/24/15, so we decided to celebrate all year long!
Original article by Dan Hadaway CRISC CISA CISM. Founder and Managing Partner, infotex
Dans New Leaf is a fun blog to inspire thought in the area of IT Governance.