June 11, 2024

EP 8: Sree Kancharla: Business Transformation and Identity Security

In episode 8 of the "In Security" podcast, our host, Mike Cataffo, delves into the professional journey and expert insights of Sree Kancharla, the Chief Information Officer at SailPoint. They discuss the importance of understanding and solving business problems through technology, enhancing employee and customer experiences, and the challenges and opportunities in business transformations.

Watch the episode here:

Key Takeaways:

  • Leadership Roles Shaped By Diverse Experiences: Leadership styles, such as Sree's, can be shaped by experiences in various settings, from startups to big companies, culminating in her current role as a CIO in cybersecurity.
  • Importance of Employee and Customer Experience: She emphasizes that a CIO's role goes beyond managing these areas. According to Sree, the employee experience significantly impacts customer service, highlighting the importance of focusing on both aspects in a product-based company.
  • The Role of Business Transformations: During business transformations, which often involve renewing or obtaining new tools, Sree emphasizes that data protection and security must be at the forefront. Furthermore, she underscores the importance of CIOs working closely with business leaders to comprehend the business problems that transformations aim to solve truly.
  • Leveraging AI in Identity Security: Sree's company, SailPoint, has been using AI capabilities for years to model access and flag anomalies, demonstrating the importance of AI in enhancing identity security.

About our Guest:

As an award-winning digital transformation thought leader, Sree has been recognized as a pivotal contributor to successful IPOs and the "Most Influential Leader." She is known for transforming enterprises and driving global strategies with digital innovations, focusing on enhancing customer and employee experiences and building world-class business solutions that drive revenue growth and ROI while improving security posture. Sree, the current Chief Information Officer at Sailpoint, has a remarkable 20-year career in the tech industry. Despite her initial aspirations of becoming a professor, her background in mathematics led her to the tech industry. Sree's early roles as an administrator and business analyst, where she coded in C++ and Java, profoundly influenced her approach as a CIO.

Her career trajectory led her to management and leadership roles in various tech companies, with a recent focus on startups and growth. As SailPoint's CIO, Sree Kancharla applies her passion for solving business problems through technology, managing infrastructure and data security, and focusing on automating compliance and identity management during business transformations.

Navigating Business Transformations with InfoSec in Mind

As a CIO, Sree's role is highly diverse, encompassing everything from enhancing the employee and customer experience to managing infrastructure, enterprise applications, data analytics, and reporting. A particular area of emphasis for her is identity security. Sree applauds SailPoint for its ability to automate compliance work and manage identities. SailPoint's system monitors all accesses and manages multiple identities, including employees, contractors, bots, and machine identities. SailPoint can handle hundreds of millions of identities by leveraging automation and AI capabilities, significantly reducing manual labor.

In this episode, Sree explains the challenge of business transformation, which often involves 'lead to cash' or 'quote to cash' processes. She emphasizes the importance of managing these processes and recounts examples of her involvement in such exercises throughout her career. These transformations often require revamping existing tools or acquiring new ones.

Throughout such business transformation processes, Sree ensures data protection and security by considering data protection and policy. She emphasizes the necessity of securing data and maintaining customer trust, including protecting customer data and personally identifiable information. Sree's journey from an admin to the Chief Information Officer is characterized by her unwavering passion for understanding business problems and using technology to solve them.

The “In Security” podcast brings you conversations and thoughts on the shifting landscape of security, Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC), technology, and beyond. Featuring insights from industry executives and leaders in cybersecurity and GRC, we explore the crucial strategies, trends, and stories shaping our ever-evolving digital world.

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Nirvana Karkee
Content Writer