Behind the Scenes, CSO I’ve Driven Digital Transformation Firsthand as a CIO. Here’s Why I Joined Netskope.
Mar 10 2021

I’ve Driven Digital Transformation Firsthand as a CIO. Here’s Why I Joined Netskope.

Mike Anderson joined Netskope as Chief Digital and Information Officer in March 2021. He joins Netskope from Schneider Electric, a global Fortune 500 industrial manufacturer, where he served as SVP, CIO, and Digital Leader for North America. In 2020, Constellation Research named him a member of the Business Transformation 150, an elite list that recognizes the top global executives leading business transformation efforts in their organizations. The National Diversity Council has also recognized him as a Top 50 CIO for diversity and inclusion. 

I’ve spent my entire career working for technology companies or in the technology industry. For the last eight years, I’ve been a CIO, but throughout my career, I’ve been on all sides of the seller-buyer relationship, from leading sales and sales engineering teams to holding a variety of commercial and operational leadership roles. I’ve had the experience of starting my own company back in the dot-com days, and I’ve been a top executive leader for a Global Fortune 500 company.

Over my career, I have seen the industry transform and change. The rapid acceleration and adoption of software as a service and cloud computing, combined with product teams adopting agile principles and software development practices like DevOps, forced CIOs to rethink how they organize teams to deliver business value faster. Concerns about application security vulnerabilities and safeguarding sensitive, confidential data have caused product teams to adopt “security by design,” instead of leaving security for the end of the release process, giving rise to DevSecOps. We are also seeing a heightened sense of awareness around data privacy, resulting in regulations such as GDPR and CCPA which is forcing CIOs to focus on data protection across all applications including shadow applications.  

All of this change is forcing us to evolve along with it. And none of this is going away—or slowing down. 

In fact, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, traditionally siloed teams across IT departments had to work together in more collaborative, cross-functional ways to support the overnight pivot to working from home. This pivot amplified a need for secure, fast access with data protection at its core to apps running anywhere regardless of where the user is working—a need that, from my perspective, Netskope is uniquely positioned to solve and capitalize on through our security cloud platform at the edge of the “New” network, close to the end-user. This is what initially grabbed my interest when Netskope reached out to me about the opportunity to join the team.

Then, as I started having conversations with Netskope leadership, and learning more about the company I found that many of their core values as a company aligned with many of my own. They talked about working collaboratively and transparently, without politics or bureaucracy, and how the customer is always the number one priority. They also stressed a level of kindness and determination to help customers succeed with no excuses. These are people who would do whatever it takes to win the right way. From these conversations, it became apparent to me that this culture wasn’t just aspirational, but something that everyone at Netskope is inspired to actually live. It was from these conversions that I saw how my perspectives around business agility and empowering the people closest to a problem to solve it could fit right in with Netskope’s existing culture.

This combination of vision, technology, and collaborative culture that enables this kind of change and positive engagement is what ultimately made me want to join Netskope. When you’ve had the experience of working for a wide range of companies, you know how rare that is to find. I’m so excited by the opportunity to make a positive impact on Netskope in this stage of hypergrowth, helping with application strategy, staying ahead of technical debt, and helping the team support our customers as they move to a secure, cloud-first, work-from-anywhere approach.

Netskope has a unique product and service proposition—one that can create extraordinary value at the intersection of networking, security, and all the other things CIOs in every industry care about. This is a big deal, and I can’t wait to show even more CIOs, CISOs, and decision-makers the world over just what we’re up to here. Please connect with me on LinkedIn and let’s start a conversation!

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About the author
Mike Anderson brings over 20 years of experience to his role as Chief Digital and Information Officer for Netskope, having built and led high-performing teams across a wide range of disciplines, including sales, operations, business development, and information technology.
Mike Anderson brings over 20 years of experience to his role as Chief Digital and Information Officer for Netskope, having built and led high-performing teams across a wide range of disciplines, including sales, operations, business development, and information technology.