Lori Robinson, senior director of product and market strategy for SailPoint, explains why identity has been so important for her career and for her on a personal level– making sure the digital world is a safe place for the generations to come.
Jessica Sutera: Hello, everyone. I’m Jess Sutera and today on Identity Talks I have the honor of chatting with Lori Robinson, our Senior Director of Product and Market Strategy for SailPoint. For those of you who’ve been in this industry for a while, her name may sound a bit familiar to you. She joined us recently from Gartner where she spent many years covering all things identity and security. So welcome, Lori thanks for joining us today.
Lori Robinson: Thanks, Jess. I’m super excited to be here with you today and to be at SailPoint, so thank you.
Jessica Sutera: Awesome we’re excited to have you. So you’ve been immersed in identity for such a long time. My question for you is pretty simple. Why identity, what has drawn you in for so many years, and what excites you about it today?
Lori Robinson: Thanks Jess so I would like to have a cool story that says, oh, you know, I always dreamed of being in identity and that’s not really what happened. I, I started my career in HR and I got put on a PeopleSoft project. And from there I had an identity vendor who came in and said hey you know PeopleSoft and we need help automating transactions from PeopleSoft into an identity system. And at that point, I didn’t even know what identity was and so the winds kind of carried me in the direction of identity but and honestly for a long time I, I didn’t see myself necessarily being in identity forever. But about 10 years ago I was having a conversation with one of my identity peers at Gartner and we were having a conversation, kind of like you and I are about what drives us what, why, why identity. And I had sort of a boring answer like man I just need to make a paycheck and put food on the table, but my colleague said something to me that has stuck with me since then. And he said, you know what I want to make the world a better place for my kids and he said so much of what is happening today is happening online and 10 or 15 years ago it wasn’t near as much digital as it is today. But he just said, I want to make sure they can operate in a safe environment and when they’re online their privacy is protected. When they go to work they’re in an environment where things are secure and they can ensure that they’re protecting not only the business assets, but also their private information. And I was like, yeah, that’s awesome. And you know, I, it kind of just stuck with me and I think about it all the time. But since then, I’ve grown to have my own passion for identity and I’ve come in and out of the identity market and I always go back and I think it’s for a couple reasons.
One of it is really tactical and one of it is more emotional and on the tactical side I think COVID and working at home is just a testament of what why identity is important and really you see the side of business enablement and we always focus on oh yeah we got access to a system and we were able to log in and that happens quickly. You know, I just started at SailPoint and I started in the middle of a pandemic but I still had access to systems immediately and I still was able to do my job. And I think that’s really important. But I think what we forget is the underpinnings of that.
So all of us, you know, started working from home and we kind of went the industry as a whole and tech business they were able to transition really quickly. And so that a lot of that was powered by identity and this ability to provision access but more importantly is the security side of it. So the nuances of what happened to make the to enable the business are super complicated you know, looking at what should people have access to? What are they doing with that access? How secure are we? So that to me is really what drives me is not only enabling the business but securing the business. And also just I think all of the innovation that happens around identity. And if you look at the trends and IT whether it’s cloud or DevOps or IoT or hyper automation and augmentation. Identity has a story and is a part of all of those major trends that are happening. So things are always changing. There’s always a challenge. And and i think that keeps me excited. If you look at what we do, we’re automating really complex business processes and it’s hard, and I think we’re always challenged and there’s always something new to take on.
So from that very tactical perspective, I love identity and I then will say there’s kind of an emotional side to it too in that identity is a fairly small community and it’s a tight knit community. And I think once you are embedded in the community it’s hard to leave because you make friends and family and the people who you’re working now with now maybe your boss later and you may be competing with them later just because it’s such a small community. And I just think there’s so much opportunity, especially as a woman, I have had so many female mentors and people who’ve just said, hey, we’re going to help you be part of this community. And so I guess to wrap it up, it’s both sides. It’s both that tactical side and just the excitement of identity and the importance of it inside of an organization, and also that emotional community side that draws you in.
Jessica Sutera: That’s awesome. I totally agree with you. I think there’s just a lot to work with in this industry and I’ve learned so much even just working with you over the years at Gartner so I’m really excited to have you at SailPoint and appreciate your insight today. Thank you for joining and thank you to our viewers for tuning in for another episode of Identity Talks.
Lori Robinson: Thanks, Jess.
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