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Published on 02/27/2024
Last updated on 02/27/2024

Product management in a dynamic cybersecurity landscape with Ryan Delany


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Over the course of his 20-year tenure in cybersecurity, Ryan Delany has had a front-row seat to the tech revolution. He’s observed each critical technological milestone and the accompanying shifts in the industry.

His journey has led him through diverse roles in tech, shaping his multifaceted expertise. In his current role at Outshift, he once again finds himself at another historical shift. As a product manager for Panoptica, Delany focuses on the complex intricacies of the Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) component of the Cloud Native Application Protection (CNAPP) platform.

In this Q+A, we’ll explore Delany’s story. It reveals a connection with the customers he serves, a deep commitment to problem-solving, and a hunger for continuous learning. 

Describe your role at Outshift.

I’m a product manager for Panoptica, where I’m specifically responsible for the CSPM portion of the product, which is one of the foundational components that helps customers ensure what they’re building is cloud secure.

What drew you to join the team?

While I’ve had extensive cybersecurity experience, the opportunity here at Outshift was super interesting to me because it was this idea of a startup with the backing and security of a large enterprise. Going into a startup can be risky, so I was attracted to this mix of both. I feel like I’m still getting the same startup experience.

What’s your favorite part of working at Outshift?

I’ve learned so much in the past couple of months. It’s been very different here than what I’m used to. From the way we do things to the types of people, it’s been a big learning experience for me. It’s keeping things from being boring.

Prior to Cisco, I was at a large enterprise cybersecurity vendor that was around 8,000 to 10,000 people. It was very traditional and had a lot of mature processes in place. It was also slow-moving and not as innovative. Outshift has been completely different than my previous role in every way. 

As Outshift is just getting started, we don’t have as many customers and it’s incredibly motivating. There’s just a mentality of, let’s move fast, go, go, go, and break things. For many larger companies, they don’t have the luxury of having that mindset.

What aspects of your role do you find the most meaningful?

Working with and interfacing with customers directly is very meaningful for me because I can see and hear first-hand what problems they’ve had and what we’re trying to solve. 

The way Outshift is structured from a product management point of view is that we have product managers who are internal and work closer with engineering, and then we have product managers, like me who are external and customer-facing.  So I get to work with customers and go to trade shows and really get to know them.

How have you grown professionally while on the Outshift team?

Since I’ve been here it’s been like a master’s course in product management. There are a lot of product managers here with startup experience, which has been eye-opening for me. That’s not an experience I’ve had before, so I’ve learned a lot from the perspectives of my peers.

Can you share some of the most significant moments in your career journey so far?

I started in cybersecurity 20 years ago. I started out in tech support and then moved through various roles, including sales engineering, product, and marketing, and then eventually ended up in product management, which I’ve been doing for the last 3 to 4 years.

I started at Trend Micro in 2001 in tech support. My first job there was helping our largest customers with their technical needs and helped them deploy our products in their environments. It was also the infancy of whole cybersecurity world. Viruses weren’t a common thing back then, neither was phishing or spam. Ransomware didn’t exist for another decade.

I did that before moving to a role in consulting and then to becoming a sales engineer. As an enterprise sales engineer, I helped sell those products to customers. I then moved into product marketing where I was responsible for our small to medium business portfolio, we had about 300,000 customers who had our products and I was responsible for all their product marketing-related needs. I really enjoyed product marketing. I was probably there the longest period of time in my career, but I always wanted to build products, not just talk about them.

I gravitated to to product management because I just like to build cool stuff and that’s what drew me to it in the first place.  I transitioned into product management at FireEye (which is now Trellix). The first week I started there, we found the SolarWinds breach, which was super exciting! 

My whole career has been an evolution. I think every role that I’ve switched to, it was always something I had been exposed to and thought, hey, that looks interesting, or like I could do a good job in that role. That’s how I moved from tech support to sales engineering before going into product marketing and then product management.

What excites you about the future of tech?

Currently, I find working on cloud-related projects interesting, but I'm also fascinated by the field of AI and Large Language Models (LLMs). The AI work being done by Outshift is something I'm keeping a close eye on to see what they do next. I’m excited to see how it will creep into the rest of the organization’s portfolio and how we can use that to our advantage.

If you hadn’t embarked on a career in tech, what industry could you see yourself working in today?

I wanted to be a race car driver growing up, but I don’t think that was very realistic, but I have just always wanted to be in tech. I never really thought about anything else.

This Q+A is part of an ongoing series called, Team Member Spotlight which highlights individuals at Outshift. Search for open positions and join visionaries like Ryan Delany who predict and plan for the challenges of the future. 

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