Meet Garrett Cook, G2’s Manager of IT and Information Security since October 2018.
When he’s not taking care of his plants, Garrett is solving G2’s most pressing technology infrastructure challenges and saving the company thousands of dollars selecting the best software for G2.
Garrett is good -- like, really good -- at his job. He’s talented, knowledgeable, and uses G2 Track to make decisions to create a SaaS stack that works for G2.
We sat down with him to uncover the secrets of how he wields G2 Track to lead his IT and InfoSec teams successfully.
Q: Tell us about your role. What decisions have you made in the last year that have been strengthened with G2 Track’s insights? A: I’m in charge of empowering employees to do their best work with the right software. I lead a global team of IT and information security experts to keep G2 safe and enable employees to do their jobs well. G2 Track has provided several insights that have enabled me to monitor and evaluate the software we have so that I can make the best decisions for our company to thrive. For example, in the past year, our licensed Zoom usage has increased significantly, which brings additional cost -- and additional opportunities for waste. Whenever we are getting low on available licenses, we have shifted our process to check the Track/Zoom integration and look at utilization data. From there, we are able to see exactly where we should optimize our licenses so we can continue growing under or on budget.
Q: Before G2 Track, where were you spending time that you shouldn’t have been spending time on, and where did you want to spend your time but couldn’t due to time constraints? A: Before G2 Track, my team and I had been spending a lot of time chasing down Shadow IT. It was almost like a full-time job on top of our full-time job to identify Shadow IT. Plus, we would also get bogged down working with accounting on expense reports to ensure that our budget was tracking well -- and there was almost always a surprise lurking behind the scenes where one department had purchased an application without IT approval. That was usually quite stressful because my mind would wonder about the security ramifications from that purchase -- were we at risk? And if we were, for how long have we been exposed? My number one wishlist item was to be able to spend our time automating processes and scaling the business’ software, so we could focus on more strategic tasks that would benefit the company and our employees.
Q: What’s your favorite feature of G2 Track, and why is it the Employee Sentiment Hub? A: Ha, one of my favorite features is, without a doubt, the Sentiment Hub. Finding and retaining talent is already a challenging task in this competitive market, and people want to love the software they use at work. Here at G2, we utilize the Sentiment Hub as part of our software renewal process to ensure that people who use the software we license actually enjoy it.
Q: How did you use G2 Track to facilitate alignment across teams on what applications to use? Why is that important for an IT leader to achieve? A: When we identify overlap between software, we use sentiment data, and utilization data gathered from G2 Track to help us better understand how a software tool is being utilized, how often users are accessing it, and if they like it. It’s important to achieve alignment on what software tools we use because we want to be good stewards of software spend and it would be easy to simply go with one tool over the other because more is spent on it, more time is spent using it, or more loud voices advocate for it. In contrast, in reality, it is a more complex consideration.
Q: Why are you a proponent of incorporating the voices of all G2 employees into your SaaS management decisions? A: IT is there to enable the company to work more efficiently and securely, and I think that is often forgotten. It’s important to incorporate employee’s voices in the decision-making process because, at the end of the day, we want to make our users happy. The company’s employees are like my customers. It’s also an easy way to generate goodwill with your users, which is never a bad thing to have in your back pocket.
Q: You’ve been using G2 Track for a couple of years now. On what occasions do you make use of G2 Track? A: I use G2 Track once or twice a week. I often come in there to look at upcoming contract renewals and/or expirations, check out utilization data, ensure our transactions from our ledger are being associated properly, and generally keep an eye on software spend. It’s really helped my team make the right software decisions for the company and ensure the financials don’t get out of control.
Q: G2 just raised $157M in our latest Series D funding round. How do you think G2 Track helped scale G2’s technology strategy and help G2 get to that point? A: G2 Track enabled us to be as good of stewards as possible with the company’s money which generates a ton of goodwill across the company, which is exceptionally useful to help drive new IT initiatives.
Q: What do you wish the greater IT community knew about G2 Track? A: We worked with G2 Track’s implementation team to get us up and running quickly. It was a cinch deriving exceptional value from it right after we set it up and from there on out. As I mentioned above, I’m in it 2-3 times a week minimum. It’s such a powerful tool.
Q: Anything else you’d like to add? A: There are few better pizza topping combinations than pineapple and pepperoni. You can’t beat the salty + sweet combination!
Now that you’re up to speed on the secret strategies G2’s Manager of IT and Information Security uses to stay on top of his game with G2 Track, it’s time to put those into practice at your organization. Sign up for a demo of G2 Track.
Maria is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at G2 and is passionate about the intersection of storytelling, media, and technology. Her work has been featured on ABC, WGN Radio, the Product Marketing Alliance, and various podcasts. In her spare time, you can find her advising on digital strategy and social media for the Walt Disney Birthplace, a 501c3, trying a new pasta recipe, or diving into American history.
Optimize your stack
Learn how to generate a slimmer tech stack with Garrett Cook in our webinar “7 Steps to Creating a High-Impact Tech Stack.”