• Charlie Jasper

Consultants and In-House Security: A Symbiotic Relationship (Pt 2)

I said that a consultant should be able to come in, do the job and work "by, with, and through," and then seamlessly transition away. From some consultants' perspective, that doesn't necessarily make business sense, though. Wouldn't you want to milk that cow until it's dry? No. This is business, these are companies staffed with people, not livestock. Don't make that comparison!

Obviously some services are too complex/big for an organization to do on its own, and in that case, there are vendors to consult with, or in fact retain. A large company, we'll go with Google or its parent Alphabet and get really big, still only has so much bandwidth (pun not intended). To get even more macro (at the risk of oversimplification), the Army doesn't launch planes from aircraft carriers, the Navy does. But that doesn't mean Army tankers can't rely on Navy/Marine Corps air support. Similarly, in-house security assets absolutely should be able to rely on these vendors for their services because of their focus: e.g. I want to know what people are posting on social media and how that may adversely affect my business and employee/customer safety, but I don't have the expertise or the time to create a tool that does that. I'll go find a business that does.

In my time in corporate security, I have seen consultants run roughshod over projects throughout the industry. Some security consultants seemed to rely on their clients' institutional innocence/ignorance, inertia, and blinders as ways to not check their ambitions and "milk the cow." That's not symbiotic (I told you last week it would appear again).

A consultant or vendor should be flexible and adaptable, both on their own and with outside prompting. Everyone runs the risk of stagnation and sometimes the client can drive your own innovation with their own needs. I've personally done this. A small seed of an idea in my brain grew into an entire service transformation for our vendor. This innovation not only benefits their current clients, but more often than not substantially increases the value of the service provided.

So, consultants and in-house security personnel, what are you doing to be symbiotic?

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