CRN Exclusive: Optiv Snags EY Security Guru Chad Holmes To Drive Comprehensive Services Strategy


Optiv has landed a prominent EY security strategist to thread together a holistic security services strategy and help address industrywide execution challenges.

The Denver-based company, No. 26 on the 2018 CRN Solution Provider 500, has brought in Chad Holmes to build a model where Optiv isn't just helping clients with strategy and architecture, but is also taking clients through the build, run and operate phases. Holmes has worked with CISOs at a global scale, and said his deep technical knowledge makes it possible to execute programs and workflows at a fast rate.

"I've been in the industry a long time," said Holmes, who started as Optiv's chief services and operations officer a few months ago. "I'm super-excited to be here."

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Holmes said his newly-created position provides a unique opportunity to bring managed services, strategy advisory services, and implementation services together into a single, cohesive strategy. Holmes has eight direct reports and 1,200 security consultants in his organization, focusing on everything from security operations and advisory consulting to project management, implementation and engineering.

Optiv's services portfolio was previously under the purview of Chief Technology and Strategy Officer Stu Solomon, who has become more focused on Optiv's technology and strategy since Holmes' arrival. Holmes reports directly to Optiv CEO Dan Burns.

Holmes said he's spent his first several weeks at Optiv understanding how the company operates, assessing where the company is in the market, analyzing solutions, and figuring out what the company's overall strategy is.

Optiv's ability to deliver unique strategic solutions at different stages of the customer's lifecycle presents a strategic advantage, with capabilities ranging from DevSecOps to securing data lakes, Holmes said. And from a geographic standpoint, Holmes said being able to service U.S.-based multinational clients wherever the need exists is very important.

Holms said Optiv's new presence in the EMA market has made it possible for the outcome to operate at a broader scale across the globe.

Optiv under Holmes also wants to gain a better understanding of the different employee roles influencing an organization's security implementation strategy. Specifically, with 40 percent of the security spend coming from outside the CISOs office, Holmes said Optiv wants to get a better handle on where they're moving to.

By looking at cybersecurity from an enterprise-wide perspective rather than focusing specifically on the CISO's responsibilities, Holmes said Optiv can better address the cyber needs of a variety of roles ranging from the chief digital officer and chief risk officer to the chief product officer and chief accounting officer.

Optiv is looking for cost-effective ways to solve for bigger business challenges outside of the CISO, Holmes said, turning to everything from highly-customizable programs to cyber as a service to providing execution capabilities throughout the programs. The company also wants to help clients migrate securely to the cloud and get a better return on investment out of their spending, Holmes said.

Holmes hopes to help Optiv continue its growth and penetration in the market, delivering gains in everything from client mindshare, geographic footprint and depth of talent to providing unique and flexible services and employing nimble and flexible processes.

Optiv also wants to unveil new strategic offerings, increase its traction with buyers inside the organization, and effectively develop new services offerings that drive success from both a revenue business outcomes perspective, Holmes said.