Company Security Officer Thomas Hadig retires from Intapp
Since joining Intapp in 2004, Thomas Hadig has been core to the organization’s innovation and growth. Hired as a Senior Systems Engineer, he quickly moved up the ranks to become Director of Information Systems and, ultimately, Company Security Officer. This spring, he’s retiring after more than 18 years at the company.
In this post, Hadig reflects on Intapp’s early days, including how and why the company decided to move its software solutions to the cloud, its first user conference, the best part about the company culture (hint: it’s the people), and much more.
How did you find out about Intapp, and what led you to apply for a position here?
I was working as a research associate at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford. I had a baby on the way and a mortgage to pay, so I was looking for a more stable job. I went to the Stanford Fall Job Fair just to look. That’s when I saw the booth for Intapp (then known as Tsunami Software).
It was a very small company at the time, with only 13 people. The founders — Thad Jampol, Dan Harsell, Tino Wuensche, and Jay Borenstein — were there and informed me that they were looking for a Senior Systems Engineer with Linux coding experience (which I had).
During the interview process, Jay told me they planned to bootstrap and only run off the revenue the company was already earning. The fact that Intapp was a frugal, cash-flow-positive company interested me. I had applied to multiple companies from the Stanford job fair, and Intapp was the only one not funded by venture capital.
Seeing potential in Intapp and wanting to help the company grow, I accepted the job and became employee #14. That was 18 years ago, and the company is still growing and thriving. Contrastingly, the other companies I applied to were no longer in existence within 4 or 5 years.
What was the company like when you started compared to now?
Intapp has changed a lot since I first joined. When I came into the office to interview, the first thing I noticed were folding tables and mismatched chairs. All of it was secondhand, bought from failed dot-com companies.
On my first day on the job, Jay (the original CEO) showed me to my desk and said, “I built that computer for you.” He had sourced all the computer parts, assembled them together, and put the computer at my desk. There was no IT department back then, so Jay built every new hire’s computer.
In my original role as Senior Systems Engineer, I had to make the software work with Intapp’s first product: a hardware appliance. Later, Intapp began creating virtual appliances, and eventually moved to on-premises software and now cloud-hosted software. I’m grateful to have played a role in that journey. It’s a big part of what we are now as a cloud provider and a SaaS company.
However, the most obvious change within our company is our growth. When I started 18 years ago, we were 14 people in a single office, and we were all focused on the legal vertical. Now, Intapp consists of more than 1,000 people in a globally distributed environment. We have verticals to serve professional services, financial services, and even real estate.
But the core culture of Intapp has always been the same. Everyone cares about the product, the people, and making a difference. We all continue to work hard together to make Intapp an even better company.
How have your responsibilities and duties at Intapp evolved over the years?
I started as a developer for the Intapp Integrate solution, managing the systems on those appliances. When I first joined the company, we had 60 to 70 systems out in the field and all of them were different. We realized we needed to have the same software on all units so that we could release software updates more efficiently.
I helped build an appliance management system that allowed us to release software updates to all appliances at the same time. We also developed a visual front end for that system.
Because I understood our product and IT, I suddenly found myself running IT instead of managing and developing Intapp Integrate.
What was one of your most memorable experiences from your time at Intapp?
Soon after I began leading IT, Intapp had its first user conference. We had 400 or 500 people show up, and everyone who worked at Intapp was there, too. I realized we had become a real, established company. It was an amazing feeling, and it was great to interact with our clients.
How did you end up moving into security?
Our clients began asking how secure our development process was and how we protected the system from attackers. We decided to take our solutions to the cloud, and I realized that security had to be a major focus of our company.
I became more and more interested in finding ways to improve both security and the way our company ran. With every new idea, my responsibilities grew, too. I became Company Security Officer in 2016 and helped formulate the Intapp Secure Cloud strategy.
What have you enjoyed most about being the Company Security Officer?
It allowed me to talk to clients and learn to understand their needs. I learned how to find the best methods of communication with different types of people, and how to approach issues from another’s person’s mindset.
I also learned that, since technology changes all the time, you always need to strike a balance with the risk trade-off. You don’t want to introduce policies that make operations hard, but at the same time, you don’t want to make them so loose that they lead to noncompliance.
Most importantly, I’ve enjoyed working with the people here at Intapp. There are so many amazing people from so many different cultures and backgrounds. As the company grew, we became more multicultural and more global. The amount of diversity at Intapp is incredible.
What advice would you give to someone looking to advance their career at Intapp?
Look beyond your own work. See what else is happening around you so you can better understand the company. Find out what excites you and learn to do it, even if it’s challenging at first.
Take control of your own career path. For example, there are many people who are happy being an individual contributor and don’t want to be pressured into becoming a manager. Think about what makes you happy in life and how you want to grow.
Intapp is good at offering opportunities for career changes. Communicate with your manager so that they understand your goals and can identify possible growth paths.
What are your plans for retirement, and how do you think you will adjust to the transition from work life to retired life?
I’ve always wanted to experience new cultures and meet different people, so I’m planning lots of travel in the next few months. I will be going to Africa to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. I also plan to go to Central Asia and to visit my family in Germany.
Then I’ll figure out what excites me next — more travel, volunteering, maybe consulting. I’ll have time to relax, reset, and determine where I want to see myself in the coming years.