With more than 20 years of working in the public sector behind her, Claire Bailey boasts valuable insights for incoming CTOs. She led the State of Arkansas through a pivotal point in the cybersecurity evolution, becoming an expert in balancing efficiency, accessibility, and security. She views this field as one that holds endless untapped benefits for citizens which can change the way they experience being on the receiving end of public sector services.
“Computers can help us do things,” says Claire. “So, let’s work together to use them to implement the services citizens need.”
The CTO is there to guide the way, ensuring that those services are safe, secure, and private – every day, every hour, and every minute – to protect the public from risk.
“You don’t get to choose what you do and don’t know once you assume that role,” says Claire. “There shouldn’t be any question anyone can ask you as a CTO that you don’t have at your fingertips. And if you don’t, then you should be looking for and implementing the tools to do so.”
But minimizing risk to citizens is a multi-faceted endeavor. Claire advises new CTOs to begin by digging up the strategic plan and finding the individuals in the organization that have a growth mindset. You’ll have to ask questions.
“If your team can’t tell you how many devices are on the state network, how many applications are hosted, how many projects are going on… If they can’t show you a dashboard displaying vulnerabilities, breach attempts, thwarted attacks, and items at risk…. If you can’t get all of that on day one, then by day one and a half you should be looking for the people with those answers.”
She tells CTOs to have a transition plan and work multiple perspectives into the messaging.
“Work with the individual who was in the position before you to learn the demands. That way you know what you’re walking into and what issues may be present,” says Claire. “Then you get to walk into that role and make it your own by bringing in your chosen industry tools and partners.”
From her many years of service in government, Claire’s journey in IT evolution and security led her to Veracode, where she now serves as Regional Vice President of Governmental Affairs.
“I recognize resources that work,” she says. “And I want to help roll them out so that the public and private sector can continue doing what they do best—working together for the benefit of all.”
Our thanks to Claire for sharing her journey and insights with our audience. To keep up with more from her, follow Claire on LinkedIn!