digital-transformation-sheila-jordanOne of the things that electrifies Sheila Jordan as a CIO is the ability for IT leaders like herself to view the enterprise from a horizontal perspective.

"We see redundancies and gaps (between business processes and activities) and how it all connects," said Jordan, SVP & CIO at Symantec. "Plus, we have the ability to drive those connections.

These capabilities have served Jordan and Symantec well as the company has been on a transformational journey on its path to becoming the industry's leading cyber security provider since Greg Clark became CEO of the company in August 2016. Central to Symantec's strategy is its platform approach to addressing the full range of cyber security requirements needed by companies (e.g. endpoint protection, hybrid cloud security, data center security, content and malware analysis, etc.) in an industry that's been historically fragmented by point solutions. 

As the number and complexity of cyber threats continues to escalate, cyber security spending also continues to rise. Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that global spending on cyber security products and services will exceed $1 trillion cumulatively between 2017 and 2021.

By using that unique CIO lens, Jordan and her team are helping Symantec to identify and respond quickly to market opportunities. 

"While an acquisition is an integration, we also see it as an opportunity to transform our business model," said Jordan. "For instance, should we reduce or change the products we offer in the market? IT helps lay out the vision and how it all connects in a way that isn't disruptive to the business."

In some cases, such orchestration requires massive coordination by Jordan and her team across multiple functional areas, particularly when the integration releases overlap one another. 

"As we're working on this integration of Blue Coat (Systems) to Symantec, we could have elongated the process by striving for perfection or we can go as fast as we can and take this time to truly transform and simplify the business," said Jordan. "We decided to go with the latter. We changed everything on our go-to-market strategy, simplified the business models and reduced the number of products and introduced new business model-like subscription which make it simpler and easier to execute."

Enacting these changes has also required Jordan and other Symantec executives to help shape and lead the critical cultural changes that have had to occur throughout the company. "One of our cultural tenets is `stand together'," said Jordan. "It isn't productive if marketing is doing one thing and engineering isn't aligned. We have to take smart risks, together. You have to be bold."

Jordan is also applying her unique CIO lens in helping Symantec anticipate its future direction in the market. "We have to think about where the company is going. Security is now being offered as a cloud service and I have to make sure we have the mechanisms and the ability to deliver these services in a way that is frictionless for customers to buy and experience."