Tag: Kantoku

Kantoku: Project Shutdown and Future Comeback

Kantoku logoKantoku is a self-hosted application for companies to manage their IT governance, risk management and compliance (GRC). As mentioned in a previous post, I developed this application during the first part of 2016. At first, it was a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution with a really nice high availability infrastructure on AWS. However, I had to put aside the infrastructure behind the SaaS solution. Back then, it was mostly a question of priorities. To keep the project alive, one alternative was to offer Kantoku as a self-hosted application. In that case, companies would still be able to buy a licence and to install the application on their own servers.


I mainly developed this application to help small and medium enterprises (SME) to manage more efficiently their IT GRC. Even SME have compliance obligations. I thought it was a niche market where it could have been possible to offer something different than the existing solutions. An application that would be simpler and more affordable for everyone. It was also an interesting complement to consulting services. However, I did not account for these two situations:

Small and Medium Enterprises

SME are fortunate enough if they have someone who is aware of the main IT GRC concepts. They will probably have a consultant who will help them with their compliance obligations. It could be cheaper for them than having a full-time employee. However, their GRC needs are often not complex enough to justify the implementation a dedicated application. They will prefer to work with many documents such as spreadsheets and emails than to learn a new application workflow. SME don’t necessarily see the value in monitoring their GRC and I understand them. They want to concentrate on their core business where they will be able to generate a direct income.

I also have to admit that one of my weaknesses is the selling side of a business. I really need to be convinced that my product and/or service will be beneficial for the client. Otherwise, I don’t want to sell anything since I care about my clients. This was not always the case with Kantoku and SME. Most enterprises need help on their IT GRC strategies and I obviously see the value for them having a consultant to help them. Not an application that they will barely know how to use. If I have to push too much in my explanation about a solution’s features, maybe it is not the right solution for the client.

Larger Organizations

For larger organizations, they often have the budget to acquire a well-known solution with all advance functionalities such as RSA Archer, Resolver, MetricStream, Reciprocity, etc. It is really hard to compete with solutions that cost more than just a few thousands. Furthermore, these organizations will not make the differences. They are expecting the same features which is understandable.

Future Comeback

As I said before, even if I am really proud of this IT GRC application, Kantoku will be shut down. One other reason is also that my professional life and other projects all evolve around the IT GRC fields. I need a project that will be in a completely different field. It is also important for me to stay neutral when it is time to provide consulting services in IT GRC. I can’t provide a solution in IT GRC and be impartial with other existing solutions. There is also an open source solution that I really like, Eramba. It could be an interesting alternative for many SME with an interest in their IT GRC. I exchanged a few emails with the founder and I would prefer to work with them in the future.

Why a future comeback? I am already working on something else, but I don’t want to mention too much about it, yet. It will be an application that it is not in a niche market since there are many other applications like this one. However, I am still not satisfied with current offers. This time, it will be a SaaS solution and I will probably reuse the domain name kantoku.io.

Past 3 years, and a new beginning

It has been a little more than 3 years since I graduated from my bachelor degree. I must admit, it has not been always simple to figure out what I wanted to do. It could have been easier, but overall, I understand now why those different experiences were required for me.


In 2014, I got my first full-time job related to my bachelor, and it took me almost a year after graduation to finally receive an offer. It was not an offer from the smallest organization, but for one of the largest professional services firm. I will always be grateful to Deloitte that gave me an opportunity. However, after a year there, in 2015, I was kind of lost, and I left. I must say that I have worked mostly as an independent consultant between 2003 to 2014. To work for a firm, it was a huge change, and I was definitely not ready for that commitment as a recent graduate. I was also not sure about the kind of work I wanted to do.

During that year working for the firm, I was always asking myself so many questions. What would it have been to do something else? I was not sure about the path that I wanted to take. More technical or business? I was not even sure if I wanted to pursue my own projects. Before, I have to say that I was doing mostly technical mandates related to web development and infrastructure maintenance.


After Deloitte, I had the possibility to work with a startup, Nukern, developing a SaaS application related to hosting automation and billing. I was only there maybe for 8 months, but it has been a great experience. I also had to manage a small team for the first time. Again, I was probably not at the right place, at the right time. I was honestly probably not ready to invest as much time in a startup that I was not a co-founder.


More recently, I developed Kantoku, an IT GRC application that allows organizations to manage their assets, risks, controls, documents, compliance requirements and audits. I am really proud of this application, and it was also the beginning for my own company. Throughout the years, I did so many projects on the web. However, Kantoku is really different in a way that it is directly related to my professional field. Nonetheless, I am not quite ready to be working full-time on Kantoku. More about that in a further post. I also did a few consulting mandates during that time.


Anyhow, I was looking to go back full-time as an employee after finishing Kantoku development. I am really proud to say that I got an amazing offer from PwC as a senior associate for their Montreal office. I am definitely looking forward to this new opportunity, and I consider myself lucky to have that second chance in a Big 4.

With this post, I wanted to point out that it is not always as straightforward after university. I had a well-defined plan in my head during my bachelor, but it did not work out exactly how I was expecting it. But, I am sure that it was for the best, and I would probably do the same choices. Now, time for a new beginning.