The pace of technological change is only getting faster. The opportunity to drive business value through new revenue streams, new markets, and new business models is greater now than any other time in human history. Unlocking that value, does not lie in the technology itself. It lies in the people and processes you wrap around it.
Unlocking that value while mitigating your cyber risk also requires a deep understanding of cyber governance. You want a team who has done it before. Have you ever seen an Olympian without a coach?
This is where Sharpe Consulting jumps in!
Featuring for the Cover Story of The Enterprise World’s The Most Trusted Risk Management Solution Companies is Sharpe Consulting LLC, a company that is helping others unlock their business value thereby making people’s lives better with technology.
“Everything we do is designed to drive value and make your life better.”
Sharpe Consulting will be celebrating their 21st Anniversary in March 2022. Since inception the team has delivered to clients in over 20 countries on every continent except Antarctica. Sharpe Consulting’s clients have largely been Global 1000. In the past few years, the amount of work they do with smaller companies, and Government has continued to grow. In addition to their core work in Cyber Governance and Digital Transformation, they have participated in over 20 M&A transactions performing Due Diligence, sourcing deals, and performing Post Merger Integration (PMI). Sharpe Consulting regularly gets pulled into complex program management and large scale systems integration because of their history.
This requires a unique combination of business, operational and technical skills to work at senior levels and deliver significant value. The Sharpe team has successfully delivered to enterprises on six continents.
Keeping a focus on getting things done and making businesses stronger is essential to successful outcomes. Engagements succeed because of a multi-disciplinary approach and street knowledge gained through decades of experience.
Sharpe Consulting clients are mostly Fortune 500; they also serve start-ups, middle market and Government on a case by case basis.
Challenges that Laid the Foundation of Success-
Every step you take towards success, you are faced with your fair share of challenges. Most people circle around them, while most find the most innovative way to go about it and take the next step. Come what may, the most important thing to do is to keep moving forward, and you can see the glory standing right in front of you.
Before starting Sharpe Consulting, Alex Sharpe had his share of challenges. To put it in his words, Alex started the Sharpe Consulting by happen stance. He had stepped out of the industry to take a break and deal with a death in the family, just when a long-time friend of his convinced him to work as a part-time consultant.
After putting his toe in the water, and helping people grow with his knowledge, work started flowing in. Soon after the World Trade Center was attacked on 9/11. His colleagues began reaching out to help bolster their resilience and security architectures. And that is when Sharpe Consulting started taking shape.
Their Products and Services-
Sharpe Consulting essentially offers four services-
- Cyber Governance.
- Digital Transformation
- Complex Program Management
- M&A Due Diligence and Post Merger Integration (PMI)
How are they different?
Simple, the firm has been doing this long before it became cool and popular. They are long time practitioners who have street knowledge gained over many years of actually doing this.
“We focus on driving business value.”
“I remember a few years ago when we were asked to lead a business transformation, a VP was confused because we started the conversation trying to understand their financials and organizations dynamics – revenue sources, margins, backlog, cost structures and the like. He really thought, I was going to focus on process and technology. When I explained to him none of that matters unless it is aligned with the business. He came from around his desk and gave me a big bear hug.”
Shaping Minds Technologically- Secret to Sharpe Consulting’s Long Standing Success-
A few years ago, Alex surveyed the client base to understand what the firm did well and how they could improve. To his surprise, the clients said what they valued most was the team’s dedication to doing what they said they would do.
In retrospect that makes sense. Alex had founded the firm on two basic principles. First, the client is the hero of the story. It is not about who we have on the bench or telling a client what they want to hear. It is about being genuine and forthright. Clients have something to be done. The team must always focus on getting it done. Second, it is about driving business value. Yes, there is cool technology and innovative ideas. They provide opportunity. The trick is to have a good handle on the technology, the people, and the process coupled with some good business skills to drive value.
“Only invent what people will buy.”
Sharpe’s dynamic style of working and the team’s unmatched dedication and devotion towards work has gained them quite a reputed clientele. From Sharpe Consulting services of Compliance and Governance to Forensics and Litigation Support, they have had an outstanding verdict through and through. Here are a few notable client experiences.
Engaged by a publicly traded Sharpe Consulting to transform North American operations for one of its subsidiaries to bring a new, one of kind offering to market.
Result: Reconciled the existing portfolio, brought the first offering of its kind to market while reducing operational costs by $2M annually.
Engaged by a very well-known brand to improve its financial reporting and operational benchmarks.
Result: Reduced reporting from three days to under an hour. Developed real time operational dashboards for the field. Thomson Reuters produced a case study.
Engaged by a very well-known brand to help turn around a failing business unit.
Result: Transferred the business unit, making it profitable within nine months.
Performed industry analysis for Chief Marketing Officers (CMO) professional society to understand gap between digital agencies and their customers.
Result: Helped the Digital Agencies understand what is necessary to increase sales and customer retention. The overwhelming lesson was CMO’s felt the digital agencies did not spend enough time understanding their business.
Engaged by the Global Subsidiary of a publicly traded com Sharpe Consulting to achieve GDPR compliance.
Result: Remediation included the migration of enterprise applications to the Cloud, data cataloguing, and process improvements.
Performed Security Assessment of boutique healthcare provided.
Result: Determined Cyber Hygiene was insufficient given the value of their data. Mapped out a cyber governance program and implemented recommendations. Broaden the breadth of stakeholders to include legal, marketing, and public relations. They have remained safe while also preparing them for Work from Home (WFH) prior to the COVID lock down.
A well-known brand failed an internal audit. After months of little progress trying to remediate with internal resources, Sharpe was engaged by the Board of Directors.
Result: We lead the remediation completing it in time for the external audit.
Perrformed the data mapping and pre-assessment for an industry leader preparing for Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC).
Result: Working with Government and Industry bodies we were able to get clarification on Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). Sharpe completed the data mapping, performed the pre-assessment, and identified items for remediation.
Engaged by Global 1000 Sharpe Consulting to perform due diligence and forensic analysis for a pending litigation with a major product vendor.
Result: Findings used by inside and outside counsel to negotiate a favourable settlement.
Mergers & Acquisitions.
Engaged by private equity firm to evaluate potential investment and market analysis.
Result: The firm took $100M position, based on our recommendation, yielding a heafty return for their investors.
Engaged by a boutique services firm to prepare for potential acquisition.
Result: Got them acquired for above average valuation in a down market by identifying “Rembrandts in the attack” and developing a post-merger integration (PMI) strategy.
“Nothing speaks better than results and value.”
Alex Sharpe- Leading the Way-
“To move the ball forward. Being an entrepreneur is not easy. It is risky and scary. The entrepreneurs who earn the most respect are those who change and transform.”
It is morphing how CEOs go about doing their jobs and how they communicate to stakeholders, but the role has not fundamentally changed. The job is more complex.
For example, a vital role of the CEO has always been capital allocation. The allocation of Human Capital is more scrutinized. Another good example is ESG. Many are challenging their staff to push the envelope and are baking ESG into their business plans. Unfortunately, many under-communicate outside of the company. Market forces and customer perceptions reward companies that communicate a solid ESG strategy with a premium.
Alex is a Big 4 trained management consultant with real-world operational experience. Built practices at existing firms (Booz Allen, KPMG). I also founded a couple of start-ups (Hackett Group, eForce), including a successful exit, led $60M P&L & delivered to clients in over 20 countries and participated in over 20 M&A transactions.
“You can say I’ve been in the digital transformation and cyber security spaces before they became cool.”
It was an unsolicited call over 20 years ago. KPMG was looking to get into the Digital Transformation space in a big way. They called it eBusiness at the time. KPMG wanted somebody who understood the domain, had a history of building practices and new cyber security. A colleague recommended Alex to the executive recruiter. The rest is history.