“Think about how many devices you have in your home,” Jairo Orea challenges.
At first, this assignment doesn’t seem too difficult. Yet in adding up all of the cell phones, televisions, computers, tablets, automations, etc., one realizes just what kind of an impact technology has on everyday life. Taking this realization one step further, it also becomes clear that we trust our devices and have instilled an infinite amount of value in them.
As the chief information security officer for Fortune 500–ranked personal-care product manufacturer Kimberly-Clark, Orea knows how much technology flexes with our changing world. To him, the only thing more ever changing than technology is the consumer.
While manufacturers may constantly be on the hunt for the next best creation, Orea stresses that these inventions are nothing without applied value—in other words, the extent to which new forms of technology become essential assets in our lives. It is the applied value of a creation that validates its worth, and Orea says that understanding this concept is the biggest challenge IT professionals—and, therefore, the companies for which they work—will face when adapting to technology’s rapid pace of change.
“Organizations that want to be closer to the consumer will need to understand how they want to use data and how they perceive value with regard to data,” he discusses. “I find that, like many organizations, Kimberly-Clark is in the process of reinventing how we work with customers and turning data into both information and value.”
As millennials take over the bulk of the consumer market, Orea notes that there has been a pull away from brand loyalty. He says consumers find satisfaction more in the agility of a service rather than who is providing it. In order to keep up with this demand, he suggests that companies adopt a customization approach: adapting their technology to fit the needs of the consumers, thereby offering consumers an experience of ease and instant gratification through their devices. Advancements in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation have enhanced the experience as well. The key lies in the company’s ability to make its data and services accessible in real time while constantly questioning how their services will be valued in the eye of a consumer.
“For instance, when my wife makes a shopping list, she just tells [Amazon’s] Alexa what she needs to add to the list, and Alexa does it for her,” Orea demonstrates. “Before, we used to have to physically go to the store to pick out everything we wanted. Now, we just choose a few things on an app and it’s ready for us to pick up at the store at our convenience. We are changing to learn the lingo of technology, but in a way that is completely accessible.”
Over the course of Orea’s career in technology, he has become a master at speaking the language of logic. Despite the complexity involved with invisible, data-driven concepts, Orea has refined his ability to deliver tangible ideas to his team and his community, boiling abstractions down to their frameworks and presenting them as such.
At Kimberly-Clark, Orea uses his communication abilities to ensure his team’s mind-set fosters a culture of constant improvement, the company’s informational assets are safe, and every technological system aligns with the company’s mission to generate products that consumers find essential.
“I don’t see myself at the top. I am the one at the bottom, carrying the team, enabling them to do better,” he says. His leadership style relies on setting a standard for ideal behavior, then giving his team space to grow from that foundation.
“I don’t see myself at the top. I am the one at the bottom, carrying the team, enabling them to do better.”
Since joining the company in January 2018, Orea has created an environment that focuses on communication, decision making, and teamwork—while emphasizing the need for his team members to have fun within their profession. Together, these facets work together to accomplish company-specific goals and constantly meet the needs of the fluctuating consumer market.
Orea’s avant-garde thoughts about technology have landed him at the forefront of the Trusted Cloud Initiative, a role as director of the ISSA-CT Chapter, and a contribution published in the most recent version of Borderless Behavior Analytics—a book that explores information security in our technological future. Through these engagements, Orea has taught industry leaders, along with fellow associates, about the dynamic outlook of technology as a whole, starting with his methods for change inside the digitalized world.
His foremost method begins with the aforementioned centralization around consumer value. With the universal accessibility to data that consumers demand comes an increased need for security. Massive amounts of information saturate the always-looming “cloud,” and companies are now finding that the ability to control access to their data is more imperative than ever.
“There is a move away from just protecting assets,” he says. “Persistent controls will allow us to use the organization’s data from any device, anywhere, at any time. So it’s more about making sure the right people have access to the right information.” Orea believes this level of cybersecurity should become integrated into the daily routine and is aligning his team’s efforts to drive this change forward.
“Security is at the forefront of every technology leader’s mind today. It’s been a privilege to work with Jairo and the team at Kimberly Clark as they move their digital initiatives forward,” says Paul Calatayud, Americas chief security officer for Palo Alto Networks.
Zooming out, the mission of Kimberly-Clark (to generate essential products) resonates deeply with Orea’s life and work. With a family of his own, he is constantly reminded of the company’s impact in creating sustainable, everyday goods for all stages of life—from diapers to paper towels to hygiene products and more. And the company’s consumer value focus perfectly aligns with Orea’s methods for technological innovation.
Though he only joined the company last year, working for Kimberly-Clark has provided Orea with a heightened sense of community. “We try to give back to the community as much as possible to prove that we work like a family for your family,” he says. “The caring aspect of Kimberly-Clark inspires me to take ownership of my work to make a difference in the community every day.”