RedShield on disrupting through nimbleness and innovation

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A recent study by Suncorp New Zealand shows that one-third of New Zealand companies don’t believe they will be hit by digital or technological disruption over the next five years, and a mere 2.5% think technological advances are a key risk facing their business today.

RedShield Security Ltd CEO Andy Prow is more than a little surprised by the findings. He knows how easy it is for small, nimble businesses to come in and disrupt existing providers, because he’s at the forefront of disruption in the world of global cyber security.

“To me the findings suggest complacency,” he says. “If you’re not in the disruptor mind-set, you can’t imagine how technology is going to change what you do. But if you are not adapting, moving forwards - and at pace - then the risk is that you are going to get left behind.”

RedShield is taking on the world’s largest managed security service providers head-on, using innovation to disrupt corporate monoliths who can’t readily respond to change and demand in the same way that his business can.

“Cyber-security is becoming a massive problem and that is an awesome opportunity for us: we exist because the problem exists, and actually just keeps getting worse.”

But RedShield has more than just better technology. The other disruptive element they bring to the table is their business model.

“When customers are looking at RedShield as an option, they tend to be in a state of distress because their system is getting hacked, and their data is being compromised. Our speed, and the sheer effectiveness of our shield, are our key differential at the moment,” he says. “Niche, nimble disruption is a strength that New Zealand businesses of all size should focus on,” says Prow.  “It is a very simple model.”

Ironically, the massive global IT skill-shortage has been a boon for Prow. 

“Everyone is finding it hard to get good people to defend their systems, but that’s actually a positive for us. The banks, the airlines, the health sector are all short on IT expertise, so that creates huge demand for an outsourced solution like ours.”

Andy Prow, RedShield

Prow says that Wellington based RedShield is driven by two key goals - the financial billion and the social billion.  

“In five years’ time we want to be a billion-dollar business. But we also measure the number of human beings who are shielded by our systems. Right now, we protect just over 28 million people (we shield banks, government systems, credit card transactions, and health data), but in five years’ time we want to be able to say that we have protected the billionth person online.” 

But despite being a disruptor in the space, Prow continues to keep his eyes on what may in turn disrupt his business in the future. Evolving technology, social change and even their own growth aspirations can present challenges for the way RedShield operates.

“Right now, protecting a billion people online is what really motivates the team at RedShield, and continuous disruption in the field of cyber security is enabling that goal,” says Prow. “But our speed is such a big part of our model that as we chase these large, global, growth aspirations, we have to be careful about how we stay small and nimble.”

“We are also looking toward the next generation, who are almost born with internet connectivity built in. We need to treat online safety in the same way that we treat physical safety, and right now that isn’t happening. But if we do our job properly – and technology keeps evolving at the speed it currently is - our own business will probably be redundant in 20 years’ time,” says Prow.

Suncorp New Zealand would like to thank RedShield for sharing their story.

About the Suncorp New Zealand Business Success Index

In 2018 Suncorp New Zealand spoke to 600 New Zealand companies to find out what success today looks like for them and how they are tracking in the 12 months since the inaugural Suncorp New Zealand Business Success Index launched in June 2017. 

Suncorp New Zealand conducts the annual survey to find out what is important to businesses, what is holding them back, how they perceive risk, and how they see their businesses evolving in a disruptive market.  

The 2018 findings show buoyant business optimism, but a reluctance to take risks in order to be successful and general complacency towards disruption.

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