RSA Archer Review

Robust and feature rich solution

What is our primary use case?

For Archer, today there is everything from risk management to looking at security and how to track all the security defects. We don't have Archer connected to ServiceNow. We had the better version when I was at Albertsons. Just before I joined UFG, we used it not only tracking deficiencies, but also doing all the risk work and all of the vulnerability management, but we tied it to ServiceNow so we could issue tickets and track stuff. That's the way to do it.

How has it helped my organization?

Our version is on-prem, which I used also used at Wells Fargo where we had it on-prem as well. I thought the best version we used was at Albertsons, we were in the cloud and we were using their stuff. To me, that's a better way to go. You want to keep it up to par, and you can't screw around with the data structures. It really keeps you current which is probably the best example so you get the best bang for your buck.

What is most valuable?

When you get it to work, then it's valuable to me. The part I liked about Archer was the risk assessment for deficiencies and being able to use it there. The part I don't like is what it takes to get it really working right. That's not trivial. You need people that really understand it, and you also have to get people to stop making changes to the data schema and the rules, because if they do that, then it defeats the whole purpose of Archer.

What needs improvement?

The problem is, and I've had years and years of experience using it, let's say decades of experience with it, and they keep changing it. It could be as much as two years or so and they change the product. My concern is when they go from module to module, what do they do? Is it consistent to what the industry wants? And they could also add some things and improve on their product for when we want to match up CVS to it and a few other things. And I think the training is hard. I think they need to emphasize that you take people and send them to training. But today with COVID, how do you do that?

For how long have I used the solution?

I use RSA Archer on a daily basis. Some people in the Archer group call me a pain, they keep saying, "Well, we can't do this and we can't do that." I say, "Let me show you how it's done."

I have been using it since they first started. So that's got to be almost 15 years now. I knew it when it wasn't even Archer, when it was part of Ernst & Young's suite of risk products. And then Silver Shire took it out of there, formed his own company called Archer. And that's how it was developed. I go that far back with Archer. I've seen it evolve, and they keep changing modules, names, pricing. It's kind of fun to watch the industry.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In terms of stability, if you do it yourself, it can grow big depending on how you want to use it. I've seen and been in companies that want to do all this fancy stuff and all the rules and everything else and it just eats resources you could point at, being 20, 30 servers. It's big.

It's resource-hungry, that's the best way of putting it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of scalability, that's a problem. When you want it to scale, it costs you resources, just like that other product I hate, Splunk. I love the products, but not the resources they eat. It is expensive that way.

How are customer service and technical support?

When you find the right one in tech support, it's good. They're all good, but some are better than others. When you're in a crunch, you want the best person right away. Guess what? I want it now. It's like a kid. I want it now.

I'd give tech support an eight to nine.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is complex. It's not straightforward and never was.

It requires knowing what all the modules do, understanding what you want to do, and then finding the right people that can program it. And finding those experts is not trivial.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

At one time, it was the only thing available. Now there are other products that I would consider.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you know what you want to really do and pick the right modules and do a lot of planning, planning, planning. It's like building a house. If you don't do the planning, when it comes down to trying to build it, you really get screwed or the team gets screwed. And I don't think people do a lot of planning.

On a scale of one to ten, I'd give RSA Archer an eight.

It's Archer - there are days when their stuff is awesome, there are other days when the frustration level is way too high.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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