As the CIO & CISO at GreenPages Technology Solutions, Jay is responsible for expanding GreenPages’ intellectual property and services portfolio; overseeing systems security, compliance, and quality assurance; and leading the technical pre-sales and business advisory services teams. He is also an executive sponsor and security subject matter expert for the company’s key enterprise clients.
But when Jay first started out in his career, his passion was simply technology. “I got into tech originally because it was cool, fun, and interesting! Of course, it still is but along the way, I realized that to truly make technology work for a company, I had to pivot to become a business leader. While technology is at the core of how every business is run today, being able to translate technical concepts into meaningful business conversations is key because that’s the only way to effectively grow and scale an organization.”
Cybersecurity: Combatting the Threat at the Board Level
One of the biggest challenges that every tech leader faces is making sure the business always stays modern and can evolve in the face of ever-changing technology. Says Jay, “It’s crucial not to let your tech become antiquated or even mildly outdated because tech debt is very expensive and hard to escape once you find yourself in that situation. Instead of being an enabler, technology can end up crippling a business—especially when it comes to cybersecurity.”
Cyberthreats are a problem for every single organization. Jay explains that a big mistake companies make is thinking they don’t have anything hackers are looking for. The fact is every company is a target. “One thing—and I can’t stress this enough—is that there must be cyber expertise at the board level; that’s where the funding happens and where the big choices affecting the entire organization are made. Security is no longer one department in IT—it permeates every aspect of a business, inside and out, and should be top of mind at the board level.”
A Programmatic Paradigm: Automation & AI
In Jay’s opinion, tech leaders need to stop looking at security from a remediation point of view and change their mindset towards a programmatic approach. And they must do it every day they are in business. Security is an inherent part of transformation, and automation is the solution to carry out transformation efficiently. Jay notes, “I was on a recent panel discussion and one of the top three initiatives CIOs and CISOs cited was Robotic Process Automation (RPA) which is fantastic because it performs repetitive tasks and minimizes human error while letting humans focus on higher value work. The challenge is that, without proper security protocols and processes, RPA can be a target for hackers. So, tech leaders must have a comprehensive security program in place—ideally where machine learning and AI can help them achieve true observability.”
Assess, Modernize, and Manage Digital Platforms
GreenPages is a nationally recognized MSP focused on cloud, security, and digital enablement, offering its large customer base a unique set of modern IT services—not just technology toolsets. “Through assessment-led interactions we gain an understanding of what our customers are trying to achieve and where they are on the maturity curve from a digital, security, and risk perspective. Then we build a roadmap and create a funding model to put them on the path of cyber excellence.”
Every modern CIO and CISO must juggle different pressures from all directions: to go faster, to do so securely, and to drive digital innovation. Says Jay, “As organizations move to the cloud, it’s hard for them to find and maintain the technical talent necessary to successfully make that crucial transformational pivot. As an MSP with expertise in cloud and cybersecurity, GreenPages is purpose-built to provide these companies with that sought-after knowledge and experience enabling them to focus on other business priorities.”
Multiple Points of View Lead to Better Solutions
At heart, Jay will always be a CISO; it’s in his DNA. And while he continues to provide thought leadership to clients and boards of directors, he also spends a lot of time with younger people coming into the tech sector, teaching them to be savvy and collaborative. “Some engineers want to go sit in a silo and master the tech. While that’s important they also need to be asking, ‘What business problem is this tech trying to solve and for whom?’ Not ‘Is the technology working correctly?’”
Jay also advises aspiring entrepreneurs to engage with different people and understand their motives. He’s a firm believer that multiple points of view lead to better solutions. “Be collaborative and value others because at the end of the day; technology is a relationship business. Technology will always do amazing things but you can’t create meaningful transformation unless you have good relationships and sharp perspective on what others are going through,” Jay says.
Since joining GreenPages, Jay is well on his way toward his goal of ensuring the company—and its talented team—is at the top of the list for any client looking for cloud or cybersecurity help. “In the end, this kind of work is my passion and what I love to do. It’s challenging and rewarding when you can build the kind of trust we have and get to work with so many smart people—our employees, our partners, and especially our clients.”
For more information you can visit www.greenpages.com