Measuring the business value of Identity at Guaranteed Rate and ADT

Grappling with the aftermath of a global pandemic and navigating the complexities of an austerity-driven economy, cybersecurity leaders find themselves at a crossroads. 

In the wake of macroeconomic uncertainties, these leaders are under increasing pressure to validate their investments to executive decision-makers. 

The challenge is twofold: How can they foster business growth while simultaneously making prudent financial decisions about their organisation’s SaaS stack, especially when it comes to enhancing security measures? 

At Oktane 2023, I was joined by a panel featuring Darin Hurd, executive vice president (EVP) and chief information security officer (CISO) at Guaranteed Rate, and Rick DeLoach, deputy CISO at ADT, to discuss this topic. Their perspectives provided compelling insights into the tangible value of Identity, not just as a means to mitigate risk and fortify cyber resiliency but also as a strategic tool to propel key business initiatives forward. Here are my takeaways from the session:

Guaranteed Rate

“Don't talk about Identity,” Hurd advises. Instead, focus on the outcomes Identity is providing.

Guaranteed Rate, a conglomerate of several mortgage companies, embarked on a journey to create a unified and consistent customer experience across its diverse brands, moving from a fragmented, operationally inefficient system to a seamless Identity platform powered by Okta.

In a challenging time for a mortgage industry facing high interest rates and low volume, Hurd knew he had to support the business’ digital transformation while managing expenses. “We've had to right-size our expenses and our infrastructure,” Hurd says. “The way we support the business is being nimble in those business cycles, whether it's seasonality or through interest rate cycles.”

“Having one Identity platform to rule them all helps keep our costs low while still providing that great experience,” Hurd says. This combined with the fact that the one platform comes with all of the security “bells and whistles” to manage risk means he has been able to continually communicate the value of Identity.

Despite market headwinds and a focus on efficiency, Guaranteed Rate hasn't stopped innovating. The launch of a new mobile app and Spanish-language web experience show the company’s ambition to offer the best and most accessible user experience for all of their customers. Okta’s Customer Identity Cloud is helping power these experiences, further demonstrating the value that Identity is driving at their business. 

“We need to be able to scale to thousands of users hitting our API,” Hurd says. “We've been able to work with a partner like Okta to accommodate this as we engage a new era and scale to support that growth.”


ADT sets out to be the most trusted name in smart home security. But what role does Identity play in helping the business achieve its ambitions? According to Rick DeLoach, Identity shows its value by reducing user friction, saving the IT team from manual processes, and reducing risk.

This value is tracked via threat insights, single sign-on (SSO) and multi-factor authentication (MFA) rates, and the number of apps transferred to Okta, but it’s showcased via ADT’s growth strategy, where mergers and acquisitions are a common occurrence. 

“Acquisition integration is a big task for us, and we were able to reduce the amount of time that it would historically take us by half,” DeLoach explains. “Our ability to speed up the business and get employees over to our systems was a huge win for us.”

While continued growth is, of course, a priority for ADT,  it is by securing the business that DeLoach sees Identity adding value in the future. “Cyber resilience is key,” DeLoach explains. “Identity is one of those core functions that touches everywhere. It's in our business applications, it's in our IT systems, and our security systems. The role of Identity is crucial in keeping our business going, especially the critical functions.”

“I envision security being a part of everything coming down the line,” DeLoach concludes. “It is today, and it will remain that way.” 

Both of these stories made me even more aware of cybersecurity leaders' growing prominence in business value conversations and the strategic role Identity plays in those discussions. Whether you are increasing operational efficiencies through secure and seamless access for your workforce or by delivering new and innovative experiences for your customers, the Okta Identity Platform has you covered. If you want to dive deeper into these stories and explore how organisations are justifying their Identity spend, watch the panel discussion at Oktane Online.