After attending RSA Conference 2017 it was clear the theme - The Power of CommUNITY - was a thread throughout the conference. This was seen in several places:
- Dr. Zulfikar Ramzan, CTO of RSA, mentioned this topic several times in his keynote on Tuesday morning. He urged us as an industry to "draw connections" and use "technologies [that] leverage business context from each other, they can prioritize the incidents that ultimately matter most."
- Brad Smith, the President of Microsoft, also talked about this in his keynote. Repeatedly noting, "We need to act collectively to do more", "We need to do more together" and "collaborate with each other" in order to "become a trusted and neutral digital Switzerland."
- Christopher D. Young, SVP and GM, Intel Security, mentioned that, as an industry, "none of us can go it alone; we must work together." He referenced the Dream Team and how these all-star players rose above individualism to come together and win as a team.
With more than 1,500 vendors in the cybersecurity space, it's easy to see why this year's RSA Conference theme centered on unity. Each vendor has their strength, be it nimbleness, time in industry, track record, customer base, financial stability, market recognition, patents, product portfolio, etc., which could uniquely and easily position a particular company at the forefront, if there weren't so many to contend with.
Think about that for a minute from a customer's perspective: 1,500+ vendors...
Zully Ramzan recommended we "consolidate your vendors" to those that are really providing value. In today's market, with such a dizzying array of vendors, the ability to find the right solution fades into the background and the goal of simply staying afloat becomes the focus. The vendors seem more similar than different, changing the goal to simply purchasing - ticking the box. We find customers asking themselves "How much could it really matter which one I pick".
This is oversimplifying, but when customers are overwhelmed during the decision process they tend to make reactive choices. They focus on point vendor products rather than looking at the solution as a whole. As an industry, that can work... assuming there is unity.
Defining a vendor ecosystem is more important now than ever. It was no accident this year's theme was prevalent in all three opening keynotes. It was also heard in customer meetings and while walking the expo floor. Product-based integrations are no longer a 'feature'; they are a 'requirement' and assumed present.
RSA recognized this market shift and added resources to its renowned RSA Ready program that has been providing certified product integrations for over twenty years. Integrations and unity are more important than ever, and RSA, a leader in the cybersecurity ecosystem, is embracing both.