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Creating a cybersecurity platform for SMBs

Transforming the expertise of a standard-setting organization into a scalable digital product

market opportunity
Example app screen or experience mapping artifact

A globally recognized security and governance organization wanted to expand their reach and revenue by launching a digital product focused on enterprise security.


We uncovered more opportunity with different customers than large enterprises, and designed an MVP that leveraged the organization's expertise in a unique digital product.


A $300M+ annual recurring revenue opportunity with a new part of the market.

Market exploration uncovered a better, unexpected customer

The organization wanted to expand its reach and revenue by creating a security assessment platform for enterprise adoption, building on its globally recognized expertise in cybersecurity and governance.

The team began by exploring the market space with professionals who work within risk/governance, cybersecurity, and organizational capabilities. Using qualitative research methods like 1:1 in-depth interviews and scenario walkthroughs, the team uncovered unmet user pain points and user needs. Market research highlighted the best adoption strategy, existing product solutions, and existing business assets. At this stage we delivered a strategic recommendation for key product opportunities in relation to current strengths, supported by a set of qualitative and quantitative research findings and insights.

A unique product concept focused on how “messy” security work is in the real world

With a narrowed focus on this specific niche, Highland worked with potential users in 1:1 co-creation sessions to collaborate on solutions to their most pressing needs. Through multiple rounds with professionals in these domains, the team was able to understand and visualize how users are looking to employ solutions in their everyday lives, and what the solution must be able to accomplish for different segments. Competitive benchmarking mapped the solutions against existing products in order to isolate a competitive market entry opportunity.

Rapid prototyping defined a clear, differentiated set of features for a product users would buy

We next conducted rapid, iterative rounds of design and testing in order to confirm the features potential users consider most valuable. To do this, the team created high fidelity screen designs of the MVP experience and walked the future user through them, simulating the use and asking probing questions along the way.

In parallel, we built logical models that proved out the data structures and relationships needed to deliver sophisticated security models in a bite-sized way.

The team then created a market testing video for an adoption propensity survey, which was tested with over 900 participants and measured which feature sets users were most likely to purchase.

A MacGyver-style pilot proved the product could work and defined the roadmap to build

The team needed to test a functioning product as quickly as possible, in order to test and learn how a user would actually interact with this product. To support a pilot, the team created a functional product using commonly available software and tools. Employing the logic established in this model, we tested multiple iterations of interactive pilots to refine the MVP flow and identify the value users assigned to different features. Through this, the team pinpointed the single set of features to prioritize for an MVP build.

Launching a new digital product into market

More to come!

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