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January 29, 2014

CIOs can no longer be ‘ostriches’

Is your company adopting a progressive approach to technology?

By Duncan Macrae

Identity management service Okta has said IT decision makers can no longer be ‘ostriches’ when it comes to adopting a progressive technology strategy.

Today, every company in every industry around the world should regard itself as a technology firm and make decision accordingly, said Okta CEO Todd McKinnon.

"Every company has and R&D side, whether pharma or automobile – whether developing state-of-the-art consoles on cars or building portals for customers online.

"All companies need to provide a better online experience and better mobile app. It’s exciting that technology is such an essential element for every single business and, when you have to think about technology like that and develop a competitive image, you can’t be an ostrich. In Silicon Valley, for example, that would be the death of you."

The idea that embracing cloud solutions means you no longer need to be concerned with technology is a misconception, as far as McKinnon is concerned.

He said: "This is really the big idea that a lot people are missing. Every company has to develop tech, whether for customers or partners. It might be less about low level bits and bytes, and more about cloud services, but they still have to be technical and think more about how they do that and deliver innovations, across all industries.

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"We live in a world where everything is more connected. Next time you’re at a party, talk to 10 people and ask if their company has a mobile app and if that would be useful for them. These are the kind of things organisations need to deliver on to."

McKinnon believes that IT managers are becoming increasingly progressive, though.

He explained: "When I talk to customers I would separate IT thinkers into three camps. The first have the IT on lock down, are in denial of BYOD and have given up responsibility for that. We don’t do that well with that kind of buyer.

"Then there is the more progressive IT person who knows that there are other things going on outside of what they’re normally doing with their data centre and things they are not in control of. But they’re trying to put something in place to deal with that.

"And there are the very progressive types who know the type of problems we solve, so they know that there are solutions out there for them. Companies with these types of people working for them are far more likely to adopt cloud identity software in deployed cloud apps, for example."

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