Recently on The CyberCall, we talked about dataflow diagrams with Brian Blakley. If you’re not familiar with Brian, he is the founder of Cosant, a cybersecurity firm, and works primarily with MSPs on their cyber strategies. According to him, most MSP customers are not able to attach proper risk to their data unless the MSP starts with a business conversation.
You can’t just ask customers, “What data is critical?” You must have conversations about their businesses and work backwards. For example, “Mr. Customer, you said that 70 percent of your money comes in when your product or service is delivered, but what happens before that?”
Then, you trace it back as far as you can. You ask questions about who is involved at each step. This will help you uncover what is critical, where their data is, and how or what (think APIs and collaboration) touches it. Then, you can help the customer attach a value to protecting the data and understanding the process.
But here’s my thought.
Not only is the business conversation required to build a dataflow diagram, but it’s required to offer any real strategic technology advice to customers. TruMethods has been pounding this drum for a long time — but now the stakes are much higher.
For 2022, your top goal is building more strategic business relationships with every customer. Measure your success based on this. Make decisions and set priorities that make your vCIO process more strategic.