Last month my colleagues Bozhidar Hristov and Elitsa Bakalova joined me for a chat with the Capgemini executives who are leading the company’s new security operations center (SOC) in Columbia, S.C. Drew Morefield and Ninad Purohit explained that the new SOC will become part of a global network of 10 SOCs and close to 4,500 cybersecurity experts. Listening to Morefield and Purohit explain the firm’s offerings and capabilities, starting with an acknowledgement of the overwhelming volume of data and existing, often fragmented, cybersecurity programs and policies enterprises have in place now, we gained an appreciation for Capgemini’s approach to digital strategy and end-to-end cybersecurity capabilities.
We also discussed scale and global reach. In North America Capgemini has a satellite R&D-centric SOC in Dallas that is used as a technology incubator and an experience center. Morefield and Purohit noted that Capgemini will further expand its SOC resources and security services capabilities in North America in the coming months with facilities in Foxborough, Mass. (home of the New England Patriots) and San Diego that Capgemini will gain after the acquisition of Leidos Cyber is complete (subject to anti-trust and Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States approvals expected this month).
So why Columbia, S.C.? Quite simply, a combination of prime real estate and readily accessible talent. In a previous acquisition, Capgemini took over a physical structure ideal for a SOC and a new Advanced Technology Development Center. Perhaps more importantly, Columbia itself hosts the University of South Carolina, a natural pipeline for young talent, and the area includes three military installations, a perfect source of experienced cybersecurity veterans. In Capgemini’s words, “high-quality people, a central location, and the best technology.”
OK, so will Capgemini use the new SOC as a draw for new clients, not just new talent? Morefield and Purohit said the security practice would mirror strategic efforts across the global company by focusing on expanding its footprint with existing clients, particularly those that “already believe in Capgemini, have trust with” the company, and are looking to change their cybersecurity services vendor or posture.
Does this new SOC set Capgemini apart from the competition? Maybe not, but so what? The company does not need groundbreaking or unique security offerings to win new work with existing clients, the target market for the Capgemini security practice. The company needs talented people, excellent facilities and access to the best technology through alliances, all complemented by global scale and global delivery. Cementing those fundamentals, building partnerships with the university through recruiting and with the greater Columbia community by investing in veterans, and continuing to expand capabilities and scale globally should sustain double-digit growth and reward Capgemini’s decision to invest in cyber, along with digital and cloud.