I am a current board member of CIRA, for 3 years. I bring the perspectives of technology, networking, Internet, business, entrepreneur, cybersecurity.
I have spent the last 30 years working on bringing networking and cyber-security companies from inception to market, for Canada, for Global. This included running one (Sandvine) for more than 10 years as a TSX-traded public company.
I have participated in Internet governance including IETF and with regulators (CRTC, FCC, EU, BITAG).
My primary role on CIRA's board has been with respect to products, features, markets, strategies, particularly around the newer, non-registry-related products. In this role I work with the CIRA staff on oversight, setting nroms, acting as a coach.
CIRA"s strategic plan calls for an out-sized growth in these newer, non dns-registry, security products, and that is the direction i have been providing my experience and background on.
I believe over the past 3 years as a board member I have provided significant effort, input, and oversight to CIRA, and, plan to do the same over the next 3 years if re-elected.
Explain from your perspective what CIRA does and why it matters.
CIRA acts as a steward of Canada's .ca domain namespace, balancing the needs of various stakeholders, including the government of Canada, businesses in canada, registrars, registrants, and members.
As a not-for-profit CIRA is in a good position to do this solely considering the output of its mission, and not having to consider the profit of its shareholders. Absent CIRA this would either be a crown-corporation, which would be a less efficient way of achieving a similar goal, or a for-profit entity, which would have inherent bias.
CIRA acts as a force for the good of the underserved Canadian ecosystems with respect to cyber security including 'Canadian Shield' as a consumer product, and Cyber awareness training for municipal and educational customers. Its not-for-profit nature plus technical service delivery know-how make it well suited.
CIRA's Community investment program provides direct investment into various charity, not-for-profit and academic programs that also act in the interest of a resilient, trusted, secure internet for Canada. This small and mid-sized grants provide low overhead capital to widely distributed proects which can act as a seed for larger outcomes.
Why do you want to be on CIRA’s Board of Directors?
I am a current board member. In the past 3 years I waived my compensation, I am here solely to 'give back' to the Internet ecosystem in Canada.
I have completed the Rotman School of Business ICD.d not for profit courses.
I have skills around:
- financial literacy, specifically, understanding how to build the business case for a new product, how to evaluate the sustainability of investment in a product
- go-to-market strategy, specifically, marketing plans, channel plans, sales compensation
- competitive evaluation
- roadmap evaluation
- technology risks, product risks
- intersection of technology and society, privacy
- portfolio management and balancing I am articulate in making my case and educating others on my perspectives.
What do you think are the top 3 challenges and opportunities facing CIRA in the next 3 to 5 years? What approach would you take to addressing these issues?
CIRA is transitioning from a single product (registry) driving the maority of investment, the majority of mission impact, into one with a balanced portfolio.
This has impacts on organisation structure, on sales strategy, on external messaging.
It is complex to do in a not-for-profit where the mission is more complex than $.
This creates challenges around:
- how to balance investment in 'registry' vs 'new'
- new technical, product risks overlooked (small customer base on new components w/ outsized risk)
- crossing-the-chasm customer management issues
I have been through this multiple times in multiple companies, transitioning from a single product representing 90% of sales to multiple products each representing no more than 20%.
I was personally responsible for implementing the discipline of portfolio management at my previous company, doing this as we crossed $100M in sales. I had to sell this to to the rest of the management team, to staff, and ensure decisions to increase, or decrease, investment were followed and executed.
I see CIRA going through a similar transition in the next 3-4 years.