Virtual Event Recap: IT Executive Panel Keynote
In early October, Ivanti hosted its first ever virtual event: The IT Leadership Summit, or #ITLS18 for social media. There were a total of 30 presenters, including Forrester analysts, product marketing managers, director-level IT professionals, and executives.
Here is the video and transcript from the IT executive panel keynote, featuring:
- Steve Morton, CMO, Ivanti
- Phil Richards, CISO, Ivanti
- Steven Cvetkovic, CISO, Swinburne University
- Keith Lutz, VP of IT, Ivanti
Steve Morton: Welcome, everybody. Welcome to this keynote address. This is the IT executive panel. I'm Steve Morton, I'm the CMO here at Ivanti. And although marketing is in my title, I promise there won't be any slides. There's not going to be any overt marketing pitches for any products. We're just here to have a conversation with some folks that that know a lot about this business and a lot about what it means to be an IT professional. So again, welcome. And I'd like to say hello, first of all, to Keith Lutz. Keith is the Vice President of IT here at Ivanti. Welcome, Keith.
Keith Lutz: Thank you. Glad to be here.
Steve Morton: We have Phil Richards, who's our CISO also here at Ivanti. Phil, nice to be here.
Phil Richards: Hey, Steve. It's good to be here.
Steve Morton: And we have Steve Cvetkovic, from Swinburne University, dialing in all the way from beautiful Melbourne, Australia. Good day, mate. I hope you appreciate that attempt to translate there.
Steven Cvetkovic: That was a good attempt, Steve.
Steve Morton: Well done. Yes. I know. But it's awesome to have you guys here. And let's just jump into the conversation. So again, IT executive panel, we have a bunch of folks that are listening today who are making their careers in IT, want to learn the secrets to all of your success. So maybe the first question we'll have is, we'll start with you, Keith, what is it that you do? And I think the interesting part of this question is, what are you really good at? What do you bring to the table? You can take your humbleness off buttons here. What makes you really good at what you do? So Keith, I'll start with you.
Keith Lutz: Okay, thank you. So look, I'm the Vice President of IT. So I oversee all of the IT operations for Ivanti internally, for the entire globe across all of our offices. And I'm really getting into the day to day of things. And I guess, they should be aware that I'm actually on... What? Day 32 here.
Steve Morton: Yeah, he's brand new. And we're thrilled to have you here. That's for sure.
Keith Lutz: So really getting in and understanding the business a little bit better. But to answer your question, what do I bring to the table, I would have to say that is my ability to reach across the table and partner with the different business divisions within the organization. I think a lot of times within IT organizations, there's a sense that IT's siloed and they kind of do their own thing. I don't like to work in those environments and stay away from that type of style. And so I like to break those walls down, break those barriers down and reach across the table to partner with the different organizations within the company. And see, how can we enable the business to win? You'll hear me say that a lot. And how can IT help enable the business to win? And that's really what I like to focus on.
Steve Morton: I really want to dig into that because that feels like this fundamental shift that has had to happen in the past few years. And, you know, we'll come back to that. What's the craziest story that...you've been here 32 days you said. What's different than you thought it'd be over here at Ivanti?
Keith Lutz: Different than I thought it'd be Ivanti. Actually, I was coming into Ivanti after listening to a bunch of people saying, "Hey, we really need a ton of help in our IT. You know, we really need some assistance and guidance." And there's some areas...there's a lot of opportunity here. I would say, I came in with this... I guess, I just had this mental image that everything was held together with duct tape and baling wire and stuff like that, just based on what was told to me. But getting here, it was nice to see that, no, Ivanti does got processes in place. We are headed down the right path and in the right direction. And we are working to enable the business. Like I said, there's a lot of opportunity for improvement. We'll continue to improve in the organization. But it was nice to see that, you know, we aren't held together by duct tape and [crosstalk 00:04:15].
Steve Morton: It's more chicken wire than baling wire. Steve, on the phone, I wanted to ask you about...as well, Swinburne University. A lot of people probably here in the States know maybe a little bit about a Swinburne, but give us your quick background and what's your unique value to being an IT guy.
Steven Cvetkovic: [inaudible 00:04:34] Swinburne is in the top 3% globally of universities, rated highly in academic results, as well as in the high-performing research that we do including areas of IT, software, and cybersecurity, and [inaudible 00:04:51]. So what sort of have I got there, or what my difference is? Is, I really ensure that I focus on the business. Particular, in a very disparate environment like this, you really, really need to have that insight and adaptability to change through collaborating and partnering with each of the departments and faculty. They all have very differently...
Steve Morton: Yeah, you know, you and I have talked. How many students go to Swinburne? And again, a lot of them are online. A lot of them are there in the campus. But what's the population like?
Steven Cvetkovic: We have around 40,000 students both on campus and online. And certainly, with the focus to grow both our Australian campuses as well as Malaysia campuses.
Steve Morton: Yeah, yeah. And, again, a fantastic story of a university that is not the traditional, the old style, old school. It's really evolved quickly and grown just tremendously. So you said something similar to what Keith said, and that is a recognition that the business, and the business of education in your case, is that kind of key differentiator for you.
Steven Cvetkovic: Absolutely. It's that [inaudible 00:06:04] centricity and particularly from an IT perspective where we are a service provider to the organization. It's really critical to ensure that you're tightly integrated. You understand the requirements as well as pain points to be able to provide a good service.
Steve Morton: Yeah. And is there a distinction between a service organization and a servant organization? Sometimes I hear that and I think that means you're just doing only what the business does, but how would you describe that, yourself?
Steven Cvetkovic: Absolutely. You know, a lot of other universities, and certainly we weren't too dissimilar a while ago, you know, as a servant organization, you were there really to keep the lights on. There was limited perceived value, you were there to be the whipping boy if something had happened that weren't strategically aligned.
Steve Morton: Yeah, got it. Good. And again, one of the things that Swinburne University is known for is its astronomy program. I love stargazing and stuff. I was interested, when I was down there, to hear that something like 70% of your astronomy students ends up not doing astronomy, but do big data, do analytics and things like that, find patterns. I guess it makes sense. But you've got to be turning out a lot of data scientists right now.
Steven Cvetkovic: Absolutely. That's why we have the southern hemisphere's second fastest [inaudible 00:07:28]. And definitely, because the amount of data that they actually model on, there is a lot of data, and the actual veracity of change certainly tends to that type of career around data scientists as well.
Steve Morton: Yeah. A fascinating part of growth and probably a big part of advice you might give to future IT people. Phil Richards is with us. Phil, again, welcome. Tell me a little bit about the company you work for and why you're so important.
Phil Richards: Thank you, Steve. That's great. Yeah, why are you so important? I work here. Yeah, I work for Ivanti. I've been here for about two and a half years. And I feel like Keith and Steve kind of stole my item, because I was going to say the same thing. But the reality is, it is so important from a security perspective, to have good collaboration with the rest of the departments in an organization. Those departments really are key to being able to come up with a holistic approach, a response to incidents, secure incidents, or something like that. If you're going to evaluate risk to an organization, you have to be able to ask all the different departments, "Hey, what does this mean to you? How is it different?" And you get different kinds of views and perspectives. And so being able to have that kind of collaboration and get those groups together to resolve these problems that might appear initially to be a kind of a small IT problem, it turns out that they affect the entire organization, and they can have significant risk or impact to the whole company. And so you've got to get, you know, a lot of different people in a room to kind of have that dialogue.
Steve Morton: Did you start out with a technical background? Did you come at IT from a management perspective? How did how did you get started?
Phil Richards: Oh, no, I started out a long time ago as a computer programmer. In fact, my first day as a computer programmer, I had a boss for one day, her name was Hilda. And toward the end of that first day, she came up to me, she said, "How are you doing?" And I said, "Fine." She gave me a program to work on. I said, "I'm working on this, it's not gonna be done tonight."
Steve Morton: Yeah, hello world, right?
Phil Richards: Well, you know, it's a little bit more complicated than that. It was actually a check writing programming. She said, "Well, I'll tell you what, you can't leave today until this is done. If this isn't done by tomorrow morning, you're fired." And then she walked out the door. So I was nervous. I was a fresh kid out of school, really nervous. So I stayed there all night. Until about 1:00 in the morning, I got this thing working. Went home, came back the next day. Turned out, they had actually terminated Hilda that day and she was just kind of messing with me.
Steve Morton: Really?
Phil Richards: Yeah.
Steve Morton: That was fantastic. But it worked.
Phil Richards: It worked. Yeah.
Steve Morton: Wow. Wow. And Keith, did you come from a technical background? What was your foray into it?
Keith Lutz: I did. I came from a technical background. I actually feel like I've been in my whole life. I built my first computer at eight years old. And I actually, under the table, started working.
Steve Morton: That's nothing. I built my first computer at seven.
Keith Lutz: Oh, there you go. All right. Congratulations.
Steve Morton: No, I'm [inaudible 00:10:23] when you built for your first computer? [inaudible 00:10:28] six, by the way.
Keith Lutz: But, you know, I was illegally being paid under the table at 12, working in this. But, you know, my father really introduced me to it. I've been in IT for... He was an IT consultant when IT wasn't even [crosstalk 00:10:44] yet.
Steve Morton: Yeah, yeah. And you followed your dad's footsteps. So you actually...usually that's a turn-off. My kids are like, "I'm never going to work at a software company." Right?
Keith Lutz: I didn't major in it, though. My first 15, 20 minutes in my first computer science course told me that if I was gonna continue another day in this, I would never get my degree. I was bored out of my mind. And I'm not a programmer by trade. But I did start technical and instead, I decided to...
Steve Morton: Still important. And Steven, maybe I'll ask you that question. Is it important for IT execs to have the technical chops, or has it really turned into a business practice?
Steven Cvetkovic: To me, it's really a business practice. I probably feel like the left one out. I come from a non-technical background. And I know enough to be dangerous, but very much the world has changed to that user centricity in business enablement. And the pace that the world works at 24/7, you really need to have that business focus and speak the same language.
Steve Morton: That's an interesting point. You know, I listen to you guys. All three of you guys are excellent presenters. You know, if you haven't seen Steve give his security pitch, you're missing something. But all three of you guys are good on your feet, you're good at presenting. Is that a critical factor going forward? Is that what the reality of IT is? Or, can you can you be the technical guy that has the deep level chops that still prefers not to, you know, be with the rest of the business?
Phil Richards: You need both, you really do need both. You need the person who has the confidence and understands the business and is able to help the business achieve success. And, you know, that's really going to be your managers, that's going to be the people that are manager roles that are really trying to lead strategic direction. But you need those outstanding architects, security advisors, that that really protect, really produce what we're trying to sell to the organization, what we're trying to partner with the organization. You need both to be successful.
Steve Morton: Yeah, and that's a really interesting point. You picked up on a question I was going to ask, and that is, are you guys in the business of selling? I mean, look, Steve, I know you have that. But all three of you guys can sell, right? And whether you're selling a product for, you know, money or you're selling an idea, that is...
Keith Lutz: Clearly, the role is to be able to sell, on the security side, for sure. When we're talking about a specific risk that might be facing, you know, the business, we have to translate that into business language so that the organization kind of gets an idea of what's going on. But we have to phrase it in such a way that it makes a difference to business executives who might not have some of the technical expertise. And if you talk about a problem, just in terms of a technical aspect, what you're saying is, "This is a technical problem and I don't know why I'm telling you. I should be solving it rather than telling it." So you have to be able to talk about it in such a way that it hits the person you're talking to where they live, so they can see themselves being impacted by it.
Steve Morton: Right. Steven, are you hiring salespeople into your organization, or you're hiring the deep tech guys?
Steven Cvetkovic: We hire both. Certainly, we look at across the board skills. I totally agree, you do need that deep technical skills, you do need to continue the business and develop solutions and controls. But we also look at, particularly as a career path, where a person or an individual may feel that they want to, whether they want to become a CISO or whether they want to become a head of a [inaudible 00:14:21]team and certainly work with those.
Steve Morton: Yeah, yeah. That makes sense. I'm going to ask you guys a little bit about career aspirations, and not just for yourself but for IT folks in general. There's been a lot of talk, you know, does the CIO or CISO belong at the executive table? Is it an aspiration to be strategic or invisible, right? If you think of your personal superpower, would invisibility be on that list? I'm sure some days it would be. So I'm curious whether you think that that's...yeah, strategic or invisible? What would be your preference? Let's start with you.
Phil Richards: Sure. So the job requires that a CISO have the ability to talk about risks or incidents and their impact in such a way that gets the attention of the executive team. So the job requires that they have that ability to present and talk about it rather than being invisible forces. For a CISO to be invisible, it's just a disaster waiting to happen. That's my point.
Steve Morton: So you're still willing to take those 2:00 a.m. phone calls on some system...well not necessarily breached or some problem. But invisibility to you would not be an attribute you would seek?
Phil Richards: Well, there are days. Tom Davis is our Chief Technology Officer. I called him a couple days ago and said, "Tom, we've got an issue." And he said, "You know, Phil, every time you call me, my gut just tenses up." And I hate being the guy who's delivering bad news. And I don't want to be the person who's delivering bad news. Nobody does. But the reality is, as an organization, we have to sometimes face what's happening. We have to kind of turn ourselves toward, you know, this is what's really going on. This is how it's going to impact the business. And we need to fix it.
Keith Lutz: Yeah. He's exactly right. And if you're trying to be invisible, then you're going backwards to where IT is moving. You're becoming that, IT is the redheaded stepchild that's sitting in the corner and wants nothing to do with the organization. Invisibility really needs to be transparency.
Steve Morton: Okay. That's good.
Keith Lutz: And we need to be transparent. Like, Phil gave a great example. He found a security issue and he had to make the call. And he's being transparent. So we have to be strategic and we must be transparent with the organization.
Steve Morton: Yeah. And it's an interesting point. Steve, how do you feel about that? Invisible or strategic?
Steven Cvetkovic: I have passed as invisibly strategic on both at the time.
Phil Richards: You are a seller.
Steve Morton: Invisibly strategic.
Steven Cvetkovic: To [crosstalk 00:16:56] on that one, look, I certainly believe you do need to be out there. You know, we sort of time and look at when we're sending our team messages, when we're presenting to board and executive council and university center, we make sure that there's the timeliness rather than it being on the agenda all the time. And we find that, you know, our work and through that transparency and being out there, definitely starts driving behaviors and thought patterns that when you are invisible, you can actually sit from the sideline and see what's occurring and see how much you've embedded security in your organization mindset.
Steve Morton: Yeah, that's very interesting.
Keith Lutz: You know, to answer your question about, you know, should the CISO, should the CIO be sitting at the executive table? Now I was reading the book called, "The Phoenix Project." And the authors in the book, they make a prediction. And then the prediction they make is that in the next 10 years, they believe the majority of COOs in an organization will come from IT. Because the industry is shifting so rapidly to become...to technically enable our consumers and technically enable our business, that a traditional CEO will not be able to successfully deliver the win to the organization without understanding how IT can enable an organization. I thought that was a really great insight. In answering your question, do CIOs, do CISOs deserve a seat at the table? And my answer would be, yes. Just from the fact that we just can't run an operation to any business, I can't think of a business today where technology isn't included.
Phil Richards: Exactly. I think that's exactly right. There's a there's a great story. The CEO of a major corporation had a son who was turning 18, and for his 18th birthday, he told him he could pick out a truck that he wanted. So he went onto, you know, Ford's website and started to build a food truck, and found the website to be a little bit slow and choppy and was having problems. So we dumped it and bought a Silverado from Chevy. So, you know, the whole idea of that story is, this is Ford, they make cars. And if you think they're not in the IT business, you're wrong because they are absolutely in the IT business. That is a channel through which they have sales, through which they get marketing material, through which they run their business. And so those guys that sit in the back room, the IT guys, they're now part and parcel of how the bacon gets brought home.
Steve Morton: Yeah. And the crazy story, that was William Ford's son which was amazing. How about being a CEO? And Steven, maybe I'll start with you on this question. Do CIOs and CISOs those and folks that have grown up in IT world, would they be good CEOs? Is that a good track? Do you expect more people to come into the CEO ranks from the technical side of the business?
Steven Cvetkovic: Absolutely. You know, as everyone sort of touched on, you know, we live in a techno world. Everything is digital. And the platforms we use, there is not one part of the business, that I'm aware of, that does not use technology in some way. And the ability to think strategically, have the insight as well as the acceptance, because as CEO, you're there to really lead the organization, to take them down certain directions. And having that technology background is quite critical because you already have that understanding. You don't necessarily have to be too technical. But again, that's an understanding of what is achievable [inaudible 00:20:43] strategic alignment? A good example is another university in Australia where the vice chancellor is actually an ex-Microsoft executive. They're following the digital transformation as we are with full zest because there is that understanding, and the leader of the organization is taking everyone on that journey.
Steve Morton: Interesting. And here in Utah, one of our biggest universities has just...the new president comes from Microsoft as well. Maybe, I think it's a strategic plan of [inaudible 00:21:20] that try to do that. Maybe that's the same thing.
Steve Morton: Hey, I want to ask you...switch topics. And those are great answers. About the people coming into the workforce. So, you know, we hear a lot about millennials, we hear a lot about, you know, homeownership. We hear a lot about technology being interwoven into every crack and crevice of a business. What are you doing to attract those folks and make it a career? I assume, like, most parts of the world, you know, getting the right people has got to be critical to your success. What are you doing to attract that particular type of person that brings that diversity? Let's start with you, Phil.
Phil Richards: So a couple of different things. First of all, the IT world and the security world, both are very broad areas. What I do is I look for individuals who are smart and inquisitive and curious and want to learn new things. Secondarily, if they have, you know, some good experience or aspirations in the technical space, then that's fantastic. But I really look for somebody who's curious more than anything else. And I try to staff my security organization largely with generalists, people who are interested in a lot of different areas, because I want them to be curious. I want them to learn.
Steve Morton: Would you discount somebody that had a programming background?
Phil Richards: Most certainly not. What I'm looking for, though, is... That doesn't discount them. What I'm looking for is somebody who wants to also learn new things. I don't want somebody who wants to fit in a corner and do SQL database commands for the rest of his life. That's just not somebody who...
Phil Richards: Yeah, exactly. That's just not somebody who's gonna work well as a security analyst in this kind of a role. Because if I find somebody who's curious and naturally wants to learn a lot of things, there's plenty of things that they can learn. Security is always changing, and it's very broad. So the job by itself then, will be somewhat of a satisfier, a career grower.
Steve Morton: Interesting. I think, you know, when I do interviews nowadays, I end up interviewing around passion as much as background and experience. How about you, Keith?
Keith Lutz: Yeah. It's actually a two-part answer. So I actually have to focus on, as does everyone, how to retain them for first and foremost.
Steve Morton: Yeah. And that's a different set of criteria.
Keith Lutz: And how to attract them. But one of the ways to attract key talent also is, you gotta have an environment in which they can operate and they're gonna be engaged in. If you simply are hiring because you got a lot of [inaudible 00:24:03] things to do, I mean, you're going to lose a ton of people. But if you're hiring an engineer and they can be an engineer 80% of the time, a lot of times they're going to take the love of their job over pay or something like that, because it's just so much more interesting to them. You know, when I hire someone, to be honest with you, I actually don't really ever look into their technical background. Their resume will tell me what they've been involved in, but I will never talk to them or usually interview them about their technical background. Because I can, or someone in my leadership can, teach them those skills. I'm focused on areas such as, are they afraid of change? Are they someone that's afraid of change? Are they afraid to fail? You know, I try to have an organization where failure's acceptable. And I have this concept of successful failure, where something didn't work and, you know, we learned from it and we move forward. But then also, you know, probably the third thing I look for is, are they afraid to speak up? You know, I want that collaborative environment. I don't want people to be afraid of disagreeing with someone else. There's got to be this environment that, you know...they got to be willing to speak their mind and say, "I don't agree with that." I like those type of individuals. So they can't be afraid. They got to be able to speak up. And they cannot be afraid of change. That's really what I focus on.
Steve Morton: The change one, that is, absolutely has to be a criteria. I mean, that's just good life advice, at this point, right? And Steve, how about you? When you're looking for talent...and you've got the advantage of 40,000 students that you can probably cull from and get really cheap labor, to be honest, right? How does somebody get into your organization? What skillset do they need to bring to the table?
Steven Cvetkovic: Look, I can't agree more. I can't agree more with everybody in terms of the curiosity and willing to learn. As well as that entrepreneurism and innovation, including not being afraid to fail. Change is a massive one for any organization as the digital world keep constantly changes. So being adaptable and an advocate of change through collaboration and leadership is certainly one of the things we do look for, as well as critical thinking, particularly in the security area. Again, having those generalists makes it much easier with the critical thinking, the ability to adapt to an incident, the ability to pull teams together to maintain that security postures, is quite paramount. And yes, I am very lucky because we also have what we call industry-based learning. Where, like, I get the pick of the bunch, so to speak, of all of our students. We can have a look at how they are going. Particularly, now I also do sessional lecturing in cybersecurity. So, therefore, I am probably a lot more luckier than anyone else to be able to sort of start looking at the skill bases and resources much earlier than everyone else.
Steve Morton: That makes sense. And again, with the Swinburne being such a strong environment for academic research, you get a unique opportunity there. What's it like working with a bunch of smart people? So you got 40,000 students, some of which are really smart. But you've got how many faculty at Swinburne?
Steven Cvetkovic: We've got eight-plus faculties. They break up through technology, sciences, life sciences, psychology, astronomy, cybersecurity, professional network. It's interesting, you know. Coming out of a highly regulated environment prior, in banking and finance in Australia, doing defense grade work, into an organization where sharing information is paramount. If you're an academic, working on your PhD or researching, you have to publish or perish, but there's that fine line before when you should release it. And certainly there has been a lot of recent activity, including in the news of organizations stealing research papers, and on selling due to the confidential as well as strategic nature of them. So, it's quite interesting because a lot of them, you know, their IQs are off the charts. You know, they've written code themselves, they've even found new universes, for instance.
And trying to sort of guide them around making sure that we maintain a secure posture has its moments where I've had some academics tell me that they've been on the internet for 20-odd years and they've never caught a virus and they don't need antivirus. We've implemented tighter as email security commonly, because that's one of your biggest sort of threat landscape. I had another academic tweet that his academic career was over because we implemented the security. So you have to then again use those principles and techniques you got, you know, the conversation and focus back onto them to be able to actually understand that mindset and what that means because it's interesting.
Steve Morton: Yeah, yeah. Phil, I mean, you've had similar experiences with a guy like me, the super high IQ, just...
Phil Richards: That's exactly right. I remember what Morton tweeted that his marketing career was over because we hired a security guy.
Steve Morton: Is that right? I don't remember that, possibility. Hey, Keith, want did you want to be when you grew up? When you were a kid, what did you want to be?
Keith Lutz: I'm doing what I wanted.
Steve Morton: Is that right?
Keith Lutz: I am actually. I wanted to be in the...well, I guess that the only other career I actually majored in would be film...a producer.
Steve Morton: Wow. I didn't know that.
Keith Lutz: I majored in film because I got too bored in the computer science classes.
Steve Morton: Well, we need some help over on our video side. What about you, Phil?
Phil Richards: Well, for about a minute and a half, when I was like 10, I wanted to be a police officer. And then I wanted to program computers. And so I think I found the perfect blend there.
Steve Morton: Yeah, yeah. And Steve, how about you? What did you want to be? I'm guessing an AFL player?
Steven Cvetkovic: Not necessarily, I am more of a soccer fan anyway. But definitely, you know, in the early ages, it was around the policing side of things, but I've always come back to a common ground of security, whether it's societal resilience and IT security. So I've sort of pretty much maintained that focus.
Steve Morton: Yeah. That's interesting. Both of you guys, from a CISO standpoint, the policing part of it, I can see both [crosstalk 00:30:49].
Phil Richards: Protection. There's some synergies there. Yeah, protection is a big motivator I think for a lot of people in the security world.
Steve Morton: What was it? And the reason I ask this question is, if you think back, what was the pivot point when you realize you weren't going to be a cop? Or you weren't going to be a filmmaker or whatever? Was there a mentoring moment that someone gave you?
Keith Lutz:Yeah. Like I said, I majored in film and I started working in the industry for a number of years. And so I ended up traveling a lot, and it's very seasonal, so you go where the work is. And I had a son and my son actually...I was traveling at the time, he talked to my wife and he's only about two and a half, three years old, but he was able to muster the words, "Is daddy ever coming home again?" And at that point, I had to make a decision. Am I going to be a father who my son knows and is in his life or am I going to stay...continue on the road? And so within six months, I made the change. Well, it was really eye-opening for me.
Steve Morton: Yeah. A conscious decision. And well, how about how about you, Phil?
Phil Richards: That's a beautiful story. For me, I saw the "Police Academy" movie and [inaudible 00:32:09] it. I don't wanna.
Steve Morton: Especially the guy that did the sound effects.
Phil Richards: Yeah, I thought, I don't wanna do that.
Steve Morton: Guys, can you do any of those? Can you do one on the...
Phil Richards: I feel like my career just kind of, I've always been kind of drawn to the technical side of things. And I had opportunity after opportunity to do lots of different technical things. And after a while, I realized that the place where I get to kind of exercise a lot of that breadth of understanding is in security. That's why I [crosstalk 00:32:42].
Steve Morton: Yeah, yeah. And fast paced and moving. How about you, Steve? What changed your mind about your career path?
Steven Cvetkovic: I suppose mine's similar to Keith in terms of, you know, wanting to come home and, "Is daddy coming home?" I still do a lot of work with law enforcement here because I teach close-quarter combat through jujitsu and [inaudible 00:33:05]. And so we do a lot of seminars for security forces, defense grade, and police. So I've always been still around it, but I quickly realized that, potentially, the money wasn't as good and I couldn't travel as much for work. So that was also a good decision maker for me.
Steve Morton: Yeah. Interesting. And again, it's a pivot point. And what I'm struck by in all three of you is that natural curiosity and ability to sell and ability to connect with the business, that's fascinating. This will be the last question for the keynote here. What would you tell your younger self if you were redesigning a career. Again, we have a lot of people here at the keynote that are early in their career trying to figure out what their next steps are. What are couple of those big life lessons that you've learned that either you wish you could go back and fix, or that you're super glad happened along the way?
Phil Richards: I spent a lot of the first part of my career kind of being, you know, an analyst, or a programmer, or a manager of programmers, or that kind of thing. And it took me a while to take that first chance really to kind of...when I left kind of the programming world, the first time I became a chief security officer, I went to a struggling financial services company. In fact, they had just been put under a federal consent order. That's really not the place you want to be, you know, to kind of have a comfortable, easy ride. So it was a pressure cooker, it was difficult, and it was challenging, and it was a struggle. But because of taking that chance, I felt like I had more opportunities afterwards. You know, we were able to get things kind of right-sided and moving in the right direction.
Steve Morton: Maybe it's harder to do for an older guy that, you know, "Hey, I can't afford to miss my mortgage payment. I can't afford to do...." Are you suggesting take those chances earlier or take them before you have a kid?
Phil Richards: I guess I'm suggesting, you know, it's a lifestyle decision. You know, if you want a safe, comfortable, happy, you know, paycheck-to-paycheck kind of thing, then sometimes, in front of the security organization for a company might not be the place for you because that's a temporary job for a lot of folks.
Steve Morton: Yeah, yeah. Interesting. Steve, how about you? What would you tell your younger self? Maybe get started in jujitsu a little earlier and have a chance in the UFC, or something like that? Or would...
Steven Cvetkovic: I was Australia's youngest black belt many, many moon ago. So did start at a very early age, when I was five. I suppose, if I had the chance to go back and give myself advice apart from run away, you know, sort of... My mum told me when I was young, that I could actually be whoever I wanted to be. And that's always stayed strong in my head. Apparently now that's called identity theft. But the main thing, what I sort of would say to myself and to anyone is, to stay true and trust your gut. Focus on what you want to do. Don't be afraid to fail. It is okay to do that. And then certainly, just make sure that you stay true to yourself. Stay strong. To pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and go at it again.
Steve Morton: Yeah, yeah. That's a great life lesson. How about... Keith, you get the last shot here. What would you tell your younger self?
Keith Lutz: I feel like Phil, in the beginning, you guys take the words right out of my mouth. But what I'd tell myself is, me, personally, I knew what I wanted early on in my career. I had an idea of what I wanted, but I think I was afraid of doing it. And so I became a generalist. And I never took that risk. It took a bankruptcy of a company I was working for to really reevaluate my life and say, "Do you really want to be what you've desired to be eventually in life? Or do you just want to stay status quo?" And I had to make that decision. And I wish I would have known that a lot earlier in my life because I made that decision and it actually forced me to start over my career. So I started over, and again, it was all about being true to yourself and have passion, love what you do. That was the problem with me being a generalist, was the fact that, yes, I had passionate in the technical career and I was doing all these things, but there's one area that I love to do.
And as soon as I made that decision to focus on that area, I just sailed, because I had passion and I wasn't afraid to fail because I had already failed doing that. And so I said, "Look, I'm going to do everything and if I fail, I'm going to pick myself up and I'm gonna learn from it, and I'm going to do with confidence." Like, "Yes, I failed. I'm going to own up to it."
Man: If I fail, I'm gonna fail spectacularly.
Keith Lutz: That's right. I'm gonna fail spectacularly and I'm gonna to learn from it and move on. And that made all the difference. I wish I would have known that earlier in my life.
Steve Morton: Sure, sure. And sometimes it just takes the maturation of a person to get to that point where they recognize that, but all three of those were excellent stories that I think bode well for anybody listening to the keynote here. You know, we're lucky to have you, two guys, here. We're lucky. I can tell you as part of the executive team at Ivanti, we got two of the best here. And Steve, we're lucky to have you as a customer, and a partner on this journey. I want to thank all three of you guys for joining us today. And I hope those folks that are here attending the keynote, learned a lesson or two. Thank you very much.
Keith Lutz: Thank you.
Steven Cvetkovic: Thank you.