Employees at A-LIGN take many different paths throughout their journey – that’s why we sat down with Patrick O’Shea, Solutions Advisor to learn how he helps businesses navigate the security and compliance landscape and what makes A-LIGN an innovative and leading partner.
How did your journey at A-LIGN begin?
My wife and I moved from Virginia after her career brought us to Florida, and I was recruited to help with business development and public relations at a company based in Clearwater. Before that, I worked for a colocation and cloud services provider that had offices in Los Angeles and Virginia Beach. A few years later I was recruited again by A-LIGN for my background in colocation and cloud services. I felt like my skill set was better suited here, and the company’s growth attracted me.
How long have you been at A-LIGN? What has changed during your tenure?
I believe there were just over 100 employees when I was hired in September 2018, and quite a bit has changed in the past two years. Internal growth in our teams and departments, new services we can offer, and most recently the launch of A-SCEND 2.0. These organizational improvements lead to new ways of approaching how we operate as a company. It’s refreshing to see how A-LIGN embraces change, whereas other companies are left behind because they’re not as strategic or innovative.
Is innovative a word you would use to describe A-LIGN?
Yes, I would say innovative.
We’re creating unique solutions to help our clients navigate security and compliance, rolling out programs that help us build more strategic roadmaps based on what frameworks a client is auditing against and staying ahead of cybersecurity trends. A-LIGN is very forward-thinking.
How did you gain your prior experience in security and compliance?
The colocation and cloud services provider I worked for provided hosting services, which required compliance with a variety of requirements for our clients which were compliance-focused. At the time these were SSAE 16 (now SOC), HIPAA, PCI – several of the audits we perform at A-LIGN. Although I was not involved with overseeing the audits the business went through, I had a level of understanding of what each requirement was and how they’re needed for a particular contract.
Tell me about your role at A-LIGN.
I’m a Solutions Advisor and work with small to medium-sized businesses. We’re focused on clients who have never worked with A-LIGN before, helping them better understand security and compliance. My job is to help the client navigate their objectives and requirements, and build a roadmap with them that makes it possible to reach their goals and achieve strategic compliance.
Why do you think security and compliance is important?
Businesses need to have a holistic data security roadmap in response to how potential threats are evolving and becoming more sophisticated. It’s not only beneficial for businesses to maintain a healthy approach to security as they mature. As they develop their strategy to approach their target market, it’s my job to share with them the types of compliance frameworks relevant to them.
What do you do for fun outside of A-LIGN?
My wife and I are always looking for ways to give back to the community. We’re very avid animal lovers and volunteer with the ASPCA. We also take advantage of exploring new places, whether that’s a trail we’ve never hiked, a natural spring we’ve never visited or traveling internationally. Our favorite place is a town called Soufriere in Saint Lucia, closely followed by La Maddalena, Italy. My wife lived there for six years, and we like to visit because it’s secluded off the coast under France.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
Many people work in the service industry during their high school and college years. I worked as a server in a steakhouse for five years at night while running my own business as a window-washing independent contractor during the day. Networking helped me transition out of the service industry, and helped me understand how to build a business and what it’s like to provide a service for clients that need what you’re offering. It was an eye-opening experience.
What is your motto/personal mantra?
My uncle once told me, “Don’t let someone determine your value.” He told me the only way you’ll have control over how you’re valued is to create your own pathway. That resonated with me.
What’s the most rewarding part about working for A-LIGN?
Personal development in my career path.
I feel like understanding what we do from start to finish has been a personal development goal, and it’s something I continue to improve upon. I’ve tried to become a sponge as much as possible when it comes to the various types of compliance frameworks and the audits that we support. A-LIGN has allowed me to further advance in my career path and hone-in my skills.
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned at A-LIGN?
Commit to our core values. For example, the way I interpret our core values is ultimately how I interact with our clients. Committing to quality, making sure that I’m always providing the right guidance. Being all in, doing the right thing, always. No matter what I have on my plate, I make sure that everybody I’m working with is well taken care of from start to finish. Innovate constantly. We work in an evolving industry, so I make sure that I’m staying informed on the latest trends in our space.