Fearless Innovator Spotlight

Growing Energy Infrastructure Company Empowers Employees to Be Effective and Innovative by Leveraging over 2,000 Cloud Services

With the help of McAfee technology, Williams is enabling its “most valuable resource” to use the public cloud with confidence, fostering continued growth and innovation.

Williams, a Fortune 500, large-scale energy infrastructure company, gathers, processes, and delivers natural gas for and to thousands of customers across the United States. With more than 5,800 employees across five major offices and more than 150 field offices across the United States and Canada, the Tulsa, Oklahoma-based company has been thriving. Its vision is to be the premier provider of pipelines and other large-scale infrastructure connecting the growing supply of North American natural gas and natural gas products to the growing global demand for clean fuels and feedstocks.

“Thanks to the visibility McAfee Skyhigh Security Cloud provides, we are a lot more comfortable bringing in new cloud services and saying ‘yes’ to our employees.”

—Lee White, security risk manager at Williams

One of the drivers for its success is strict adherence to a set of core values and beliefs, one of which is that “people are the company’s most valuable resource.” In accordance with this belief, Williams empowers its employees to harness their “immense powers of innovation, imagination, and skill, and a desire to accomplish something of significance.” Perhaps that’s why Williams is listed #22 on the Forbes list of America’s Best Large Employers.

The company’s philosophy is to hire smart people and give them the tools they need to be effective and innovative. With this approach, the company has been able to continually adapt and evolve, adding new technologies such as Smart Pigs, or Pipeline Inspection Gauges, that provide data on the condition of pipelines, which in turn help gauge the health and integrity of the pipes. (Safety is another top core value at Williams.) The company also installed the longest successful 24-inch horizontal directional drill (under Jordan Lake in North Carolina).

One of the ways Williams has empowered employees is by allowing them to use applications and services available through the public cloud. Company employees use thousands of cloud-based applications for everything from productivity to collaboration services, like Dropbox. Five-plus years ago, the company allowed employees to access the cloud services they needed without worrying about security. The security risk began increasing, however. Rather than blocking all cloud services and hindering employee productivity and effectiveness, the company sought out a way to reduce the risk and enable its employees to continue benefitting from using the cloud.

By implementing a cloud governance framework based on McAfee Skyhigh Cloud Trust technology, Williams could quickly and easily accelerate adoption of services that could be trusted with McAfee Skyhigh Cloud Trust ratings and that could determine which cloud services to block. “Thanks to the visibility McAfee Skyhigh Security Cloud provides, we are a lot more comfortable bringing in new cloud services and saying ‘yes’ to our employees,” says Lee White, security risk manager at Williams.

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