Casey Renner, Host, Weekly Walk

Weekly Walk with Casey Renner: Sharon Mandell, CIO at Juniper Networks

Industry Voices Sharon Mandell
Casey Renner Headshot
 The still from the video shows Casey Renner, Host, Weekly Walk, and Sharon Mandell, Sharon Mandell, CIO, Juniper Networks, all smiles, with the Weekly Walk and Juniper Networks logos pictured on the right. The words “Software Security” are at the top of the screen.

Are you a future CIO? You’ll want to watch this.

In this episode of her Weekly Walk show, host Casey Renner takes a stroll with Juniper CIO Sharon Mandell and chats about why Juniper doesn’t purchase a company based on product alone, what an ideal CIO and CSO relationship should look like, and what Sharon would be doing if she weren’t a CIO. 

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You’ll learn

  • Sharon’s advice to someone who might sell to a CIO like her right now

  • What makes for a perfect relationship between a Chief Security Officer (CSO) and a Chief 

  • Information Officer, according to Sharon 

Who is this for?

Business Leaders Network Professionals


Casey Renner Headshot
Casey Renner
Host, Weekly Walk

Guest speakers

Sharon Mandell Headshot
Sharon Mandell
CIO, Juniper Networks


0:00 Hey Weekly Walk viewers!

0:01 Greetings from... where are we?

0:02 San Jose?

0:03 We're in San Jose.

0:04 Houge Park.

0:05 Lovely Houge Park.

0:06 It's beautiful.

0:06 And I am here with Sharon Mandell,

0:08 CIO at Juniper Networks.

0:14 You were one of my first virtual Weekly Walks

0:16 in the pandemic.

0:17 So we are making our show,

0:19 Sharon was like, how do we do this?

0:20 I was like, you just have to walk,

0:21 I'm gonna ask you questions,

0:22 and here we are.

0:23 So are you ready?

0:23 I'm ready.

0:24 Live question number one, let's do this!

0:26 All right.

0:26 So we get asked a lot...

0:29 As VC's, we always want to talk to CIO's

0:32 about what you're seeing in the vendor market.

0:34 You know, your insights.

0:36 When you're looking at early stage companies to potentially bring them in,

0:40 What are you looking for?

0:41 Like, what advice do you have to share with

0:42 somebody who might sell to a CIO right now?

0:45 So obviously, we'd be buying it

0:48 because we thought that there was

0:49 something innovative in the product.

0:52 But for me, it's not enough to have a product.

0:55 Juniper's a large company.

0:56 If we're going to place a bet on you,

0:57 I have to know you're starting to think

1:00 about the things beyond the product

1:01 that make you enterprise scale.

1:03 So have you thought about security

1:05 in your certifications?

1:06 You don't necessarily have to have them all done,

1:08 but you know,

1:09 are you taking all the right steps there?

1:13 Are you going to have the right support infrastructure,

1:15 things like that.

1:16 So it's the parts of the experience

1:20 that are part of the product

1:21 that you don't think of as part of the product

1:23 but are really important.

1:24 But should be thinking about.

1:25 So now they know to think about them.

1:27 So on the security note,

1:28 and this question,

1:29 Sharon and I had had a chance

1:30 to drink wine and eat cheese together last week,

1:33 and we had a CSO there,

1:34 they were saying hi to Edna Conway.

1:36 And this got me thinking...

1:37 The CIO versus the CSO relationship,

1:40 what should that look like?

1:41 Because, I mean,

1:42 there are so many security vendors out there,

1:44 so it's sort of up to you to implement

1:46 the security vendors,

1:47 But the CSO to set the sort of precedent,

1:49 so yeah,

1:50 what is a perfect CSO and CIO relationship?

1:52 So obviously collaborative and respectful.

1:57 So each of us are going to come from

1:59 different perspectives.

2:01 The CSO's job is to secure the enterprise,

2:03 and sometimes also make sure the products are secure.

2:07 And the CIO's job is to increase the productivity

2:11 of the employees through the tools

2:15 that they bring to bear,

2:17 as well as make great customer experiences.

2:19 And so sometimes those things,

2:21 you know,

2:22 don't necessarily line up.

2:24 But for me,

2:26 in my case,

2:28 the CSO reports to me.

2:30 And I'm not successful

2:31 if we don't secure the enterprise.

2:32 So at some level I work for him,

2:35 but at the same time,

2:37 hopefully I bring that perspective that balances

2:41 what we're trying to do with security,

2:43 with helping make the employee experience

2:46 still a good and frictionless one.

2:49 And that's a very hard thing to achieve.

2:51 But with the right partnership,

2:53 you can get there.

2:53 Yeah, collaboration.

2:55 I feel like that's like the key.

2:57 Collaboration and respect!

2:58 That should be like a 2022 theme

2:59 for every role, I feel like.

3:01 Well, I, you know,

3:02 I have a set of expertise and I might know

3:04 a lot about security,

3:05 but it's not my core...

3:07 It's not my core set of expertise.

3:09 And I need his skills and his knowledge,

3:13 or hers if it happened to a her,

3:15 in order to do that well.

3:17 So if I don't respect them,

3:20 it's going to be a pretty ugly situation.

3:23 Some good live advice right there too, in general.

3:25 And then my last question,

3:26 if technology did not exist as a thing,

3:29 there was no such thing as a CIO role,

3:31 what would you be doing instead?

3:34 Probably trying to run a ballet company.

3:36 OK, yes.

3:36 Sharon is a former ballerina,

3:38 which is why we're such height differentials here.

3:39 I'm like trying to...

3:40 I'm on a big angle here! Yes!

3:42 Next time I'm going to make her do some moves,

3:44 and as I told her, you can still do that.

3:46 That can be your post CIO role down the line.

3:49 Sharon's going to run a ballet studio,

3:50 she's going to teach all of you how to do ballet.

3:51 So awesome.

3:52 Sharon, thank you for Weekly Walking with me!

3:54 And Weekly Walk viewers will see you all soon!

3:56 Bye Guys!

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