Archives For security budget

tradeshowDo You Know What CIOs Are Struggling With Right Now?

IT Doesn’t…

What would it be worth if you knew something really important, that your IT clients don’t know?

It might lead to that coveted Trusted Advisor status – if you presented it right.

I opened Thursday’s session at SecureWorld Charlotte with  “The One Big Mistake Companies Are Making w/ SECURITY”. My session was packed! Standing room only. and a wall full of stand-ups…

I guess people heard me telling funny stories and decided to wonder in from the hall. After all, even technology sessions should be fun to listen to.

But here’s the surprising fact.  After assessing who was in my audience (mostly F500 company IT people), I asked for input on the CIOs role in 2016. No one had the right answers!  No One!  I did get generic answers like, Security.  And yes, Gartner and The Wall Street Journal are reporting this.  But it’s old news, and only one person in the room raised their hand when I asked who is reading the CIO Journal Section.$1 HC Book Ad

No wonder IT has a hard time convincing their leadership to do the right thing. Even when selling internally, good marketing starts “where people are” and takes them “where they need to go.”

Given the walls that exist between IT and executive management, event a great marketer will rarely be heard.

One thing everyone did agree on – their end users are heading toward More IoT, More Cloud, and More BYOD…even those companies that claim to not be doing BYOD, are.  People are going to use their phones for email regardless of what the company does. Even if they have to use their gmail account – Ref. Ms. Clinton.

So what are CIOs doing in 2016:

  • More interaction with the Board.
  • More involvement in company strategy – because it all hinges on using technology.
  • Finding ways to leverage IoT, Cloud, Big Data, and Social Business – to achieve better customer experience / competitive advantage (Think Amazon vs. Walmart). And remember Walmart is big on technology – but their customer experience is miserable.
  • More focus on security…  (Have your read recent reports on Target’s failure to expand into Canada – blamed on IT mishaps!)

But Also Take Note – IT Budgets and Security are a Challenge:

  • IT spending is down 5.88% as of Q4, 2015!
  • IoT spending is up and growing!
  • Compliance will continue to grow and demand more budget – but won’t make things more secure (in most cases).
  • Security talent is growing scarce. Only the very large companies will have real security talent…the rest will work for consulting companies. (Meaning the mid and small market needs it from a third-party source.)

Lots to think about in 2016!  If you have security answers – this could be a great year for you and your company.

© 2016, David Stelzl




What Happens When the Entire IT Infrastructure is Taken Down?

Days after IT said “they have it covered…”

Well, the article didn’t say IT had it covered, but I bet if we talk to the sales people calling on Canada’s Research and  Technology Agency, they’re getting push back on security sales, budgets, and more important initiatives. At least until now.

In case you didn’t see the article earlier this week announcing the attack, there were more details in the paper this morning.  In my book The House & the Cloud I talk about the importance of sound bites – here’s a few you might want to know before heading out to your client meetings this morning.

Today’s WSJ article brings out some devastating news…This organization, responsible for innovation and research, had to completely shut down! Imagine the financial impact to any one of your clients – big or small.  And then to rebuild the entire IT infrastructure! How much will that cost? And if this were a private sector company with a large customer base…

Well, here are the sound bites to give you the bottom line.  Note the last one on Heartbleed. This was mentioned as an aside, but many have asked me about data loss due to Heartbleed…the answer is YES. People did lose data.


  • Canada’s research and technology agency recently experienced a cyberattack by “a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor”.
  • This organization is saying – it will be forced to rebuild its entire information technology infrastructure – estimated a 1 year effort.
  • What are the after: scientific research and innovation.
  • The attack was so significant that the only alternative was to shut down the entire system.
  • HEARTBLEED NOTE: “This comes less than four months after Canada’s tax authority temporarily shut down online tax-filing services after the discovery of a system breach related to the Internet security flaw known as the Heartbleed bug. Canadian police later charged a Canadian college student with stealing confidential taxpayer data by exploiting the flaw.”

If you have access to the WSJ, here’s the entire article:

© 2014, David Stelzl

P.S. Do you have a copy of The House & the Cloud?  It’s one of the only books I know of on how to sell security…get it free in PDF format right here…(CLICK).

Will you Walk Away?

November 12, 2010 — 2 Comments

Will you walk?  I’ve been writing about fee setting, and no fee setting series would be complete without facing the reality of a failed negotiation.  If you’re not willing to walk away from the business, you have no business negotiating.  Once the client perceives your willingness to discount, they’ll require it as part of every deal.  Set your fees wisely, being honest with yourself, and your ability, and be consistent.  Everyone knows that car dealers are more willing to negotiate at year end, and that Cisco, HP, Sun, Oracle, (fill in whatever product company you sell) will do the same (Usually at month or quarter end) for any big deal.  Anything to make the numbers work.  So what have we trained our customers to do?  Wait.

Your job is the be the best.  Jim Collins talks, in his book, Good to Great, about the hedgehog.  Being the best, having the passion, and finally the economic engine.  When clients see your value and know your prices are fixed, they’ll stop playing games.  Michael Bosworth, in his book, Solution Selling, explains it like this, Once you start discounting, the client will continue to squeeze, like a wet washcloth, until there is no water left.

What’s the solution.  Be great, be willing to walk, and leave the client wanting you.  Then continue to market to them until they realize they really do need you.   In the long run you’ll waste less time, make more money, and have better clients.

© 2010, David Stelzl

What happens when the client can’t afford something?  Naturally, the conversation turns to dollars and discounts.  “We don’t want to short-cut the solution, yet we can’t afford the price.”  In other words, “It’s not in our budget, but we still want it – what can you do?”  We talked about establishing value prior to price several days ago, but now the price has been proposed, and the client can’t come up with the money.  Or, in another scenario, you have a contract (perhaps recurring revenues through managed services) and the client can no longer afford the level of services originally contracted for.  So what do you do?  Here’s a simple way to get back on track.

“Price aside….”  Money can never become the central issue.  People don’t figure out how much they have to spend and then look for something / anything that will fit the budget.  At least they shouldn’t.  That’s how people end up with a lot of junk they just don’t need.  Instead, set the price aside for a moment and figure out what really is needed.  If money is tight, scrutinize what the client really does need.  Great consulting means improving the client’s condition, not selling more stuff.

So I simply say, “Price aside, let’s look at what we are proposing and figure out if this is really what you need.”  Let the client see the pros and cons, the value and risk, etc.  Ask probing questions such as, “If we cut this out, people will be able to send any type of sensitive company information through email unchecked.  Is that okay with you?”  “If we cut this out your data won’t be backed up off site.  So if someone forgets to run the back up, the tape fails, or the person who takes it home loses it or it gets stolen, your data will be unrecoverable and on the street.  Is that okay?”

Force people to look at the solution, it’s value, the risks and opportunities.  They may still not have the money, but if it’s clearly what they need, at least they will want it, may find the money, or start saving for it.  Discounting is never the right answer.

© 2010, David Stelzl

Why do Assessments?

November 1, 2010 — Leave a comment

Almost every reseller does assessments, and now, many manufacturers are not only doing them, but equipping their reseller community through partner program trainings, and portals, and the creation of assessment tools.  Why?  If you don’t understand the core reasons for doing an assessment, chances are you are wasting your time.


© 2010, David Stelzl

Pricing Your Proposal

October 15, 2010 — Leave a comment

Finalizing my notes this morning for today’s teleseminar on proposals – a side topic which I plan to cover (but won’t have time for great detail) is pricing…

Join us today: 11:30 EDT (CLICK)

So here are a few random rules on proposal prices:

1. Most resellers are pricing things too low – the thought is, your SMB clients can’t afford more, the problem is, you can’t afford less.  Pricing is related to value…not your client’s perceived bank account.

2. T&M pricing is amateur.

3. T&M with a cap is foolish – you take all the risk, your client has no skin in the game.

4. Deals that schedule a given resource on Tuesdays and Thursdays (as an example), mean you must now fill their down time (every other day) with project work or their utilization will be too low to net a profit for the company.

5. Too much detail.  You don’t have to break out every detail of a project’s pricing.  Start quoting in milestones, and price based on value, while considering days and weeks, not hours and minutes.

6. Present options…a choice of yes’s.  Give them the best option, and upside option, and a phased option to allow for tight budgets, but with future phases in mind.

7. Don’t present pricing before value has been established.  Remember, business value can only be understood by a business person.

© 2010, David Stelzl