McKinnon: The mission of Okta is to help companies build better IT. There are a lot of very important changes going on that I'm sure your readers are familiar with. There's the reinvention of everything in the IT stack as a cloud service. There's a lot of great innovation in the cloud, everything from IaaS, which is more of an emerging area, to the application layer, which is probably what most people are consuming now. As companies think about consuming that, it's a big opportunity, but it's also a little bit murky how they do that.
The second big trend -- and this is not a news flash for anyone -- is mobile. Every company is trying to figure out how they can drive business value, beat their competition, and serve their customers better with mobile. You have CSOs, CFOs, CEOs asking, "What do we do about mobile?" Companies are under a lot of pressure to deliver mobile value.
The third big thing going on is less talked-about than the first two: Companies are at the point where they're really starting to more comprehensively connect with their customers, their partners, their suppliers, and their value chain. You remember the big B-to-B hype. The promise of that, where you have an integrated supply chain, where you could have much less friction and much higher margins, is really starting to happen.
One customer of Okta is a pipe company in Tulsa, Okla. When a pipe company in Tulsa, Okla., is embracing cloud apps and mobile to more effectively connect with their customers, employees, suppliers, and partners, it's finally happening. You see that happening across the spectrum.
So what we're really about is these three big trends: cloud, mobile, and connecting B-to-B or B-to-C.
InfoWorld: Why do those trends demand a new identity management solution?
They put a big point of pressure on identity technology. We're here to provide that. We're here to solve that problem for them. Companies have so many more applications now. We go to these companies and ask them: How many applications do you have? They say they have 40. We get in there and once they use our technology to hook them up to Okta, we find out they have 100.
That's because for a long time the natural limiter on how many applications a company could have wasn't the budget -- it was how many they could deploy. The IT program management office was your constraint. The program manager decided how many they could roll out. Now it's much different. The cloud and mobile vendors can go right to the end-users, and they get 100 applications before they know it.
InfoWorld: So how do you do it? How do you solve this problem differently than in the past?
McKinnon: We built a system that is integrated to everything. Our identity service is a cloud service itself.