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Archer Employee
Archer Employee

The following is a guest post from industry writer, David Strom. 


So, the RSA® Archer Summit 2018 is over, and we are all back in our usual digs. I wanted to take some time to reflect on what I saw and where I think the company is going, based on what I heard at the event.


“The world has changed again,” said Rohit Ghai, President of RSA, at the opening keynote. “Data is the fuel of the digital economy and what makes the new value chain.” David Lemon, RSA Archer VP and Global Head of Sales said, “We have to give the business context to the security team and provide an end-to-end context so they can identify biggest priorities.” Here are some megatrends.


Going wide for a larger user base within each customer. At Summit, it was clear that the RSA Archer product line has a very loyal customer base, with people applauding for feature enhancements such as breadcrumbs. But the company has to move to a broader acceptance within the IT establishment, not just cultivate its product champions that may only number a few people within even the largest organizations. Part of the announcements and innovations at the conference were to appeal to a widening customer base and an interpretation of finding and winning over users beyond the risk folks – even within their existing customer base.


The success of RSA Archer will be if it can move beyond selling to the largest of customers too. “Our business opportunity is the less mature and medium-sized enterprise,” said David Walter, VP,  RSA Archer. Thus RSA Archer has to both widen and deepen its customer base. “We have to engage more people in the risk management conversations,” said Walter. One IT manager at the conference said, “Integrated risk is all about people, processes and systems, and they all have to work together. We have to get our culture right if we are going to stay in business.”


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Trusting more SIs/VARs to sell and spread the word, rather than DIY. Another sign of maturity is how the more significant announcements at Summit were partnerships with Mendix and Konexus, both revolving around new mobile enhancements.  This is a big step forward for RSA Archer too, because it shows that it can’t go it alone anymore and needs to branch out to its partners. While RSA has had partners in place, its partner network is evolving. What I saw at Summit were good first steps.


Data integrations are key. The next sign of change with RSA Archer is how the company has recognized that it needs to be more tightly integrated in as many data streams as possible. Product manager Emily Shipman mentioned at the conference that “Data Gateway is changing the way we interact with external data sources. We have released 40 different integrations with Exchange, and have more planned for the coming year.” Walter said “And it isn’t just about getting the data, but using it and making it meaningful -- what I like to call data stewardship.” If the company makes good on these promises, that will be a significant boon in its business.


Greater number of product releases. With 13 different updates in the recent past, RSA Archer is showing that it can be more agile by adding new features and coming out with new versions at an increasing rate. This is another good sign, as it tries to satisfy demands from its very loyal customer base.


Branching out from the token business. Even though RSA SecurID® tokens is still very much a big business for RSA, the latest announcement at Summit show the company is moving into a new, more forward-looking direction. Certainly, MFA tokens won’t disappear tomorrow, but the indicators mentioned above show that the RSA Archer business a few years from now will be very different from what it was just a few years ago.


Is it all rainbows and unicorns? Certainly, there are challenges ahead. RSA Archer has to broaden its appeal with its ultimate success depending on the kindness of others to continue to partner up and branch out. It certainly is interesting times for risk management professionals.

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David Strom is an independent writer and expert with decades of knowledge on the B2B technology market, including: network computing, computer hardware and security markets. Follow him @dstrom.