If you’ve paid any attention whatsoever to how things get done at big companies these days, you’ll know that pretty much everything that used to be done on computers that companies would buy and manage themselves can now be purchased “as a service.”
Todd McKinnon, the CEO and founder of San Francisco-based Okta, was VP of engineering during the early days at Salesforce.com when it was still making the phrase “software-as-a-service” stick with its application for tracking and managing sales leads and deals in an application that runs solely within the confines of a Web browser, or as we say now, “in the cloud.”
The notion of treating critical software as something you subscribe to and pay for as you use it rather than buy was a radical one, but it took hold: Where Salesforce was among the first, now there are thousands of “cloud services” companies. In 2009, McKinnon, sensing an opportunity, left Salesforce and started Okta. Its mission was simple: As companies adopted cloud software, they added one nagging problem: Keeping track of who has access to what. Okta sought to help them with “identity-as-a-service,” essentially a cloud application that helps companies keep track of login credentials across thousands of cloud and traditional applications.
Today, Okta counts 2,000 companies like Chiquita Brands, LinkedIn, MGM Resorts and the software giant SAP as customers, and its application connects to thousands of applications and services — Amazon, Box, Dropbox, Oracle, DocuSign and Workday are just a few.
Last year, Okta expanded into the business of helping companies manage their fleets of mobile devices. And along the way it has racked up an impressive array of venture capital investors, including Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz, which have poured in a combined $155 million. The next logical step for Okta is an initial public offering.
McKinnon’s insight into how readily companies are adopting cloud applications and into how popular they really are makes him a natural fit as a speaker at our Code/Enterprise Series event taking place in New York on the evening of Sept. 29.
He is one of two speakers we’ve announced for this, our second Code/Enterprise Series. The other is Marty Chavez, CIO of the investment banking giant Goldman Sachs. We’ll be announcing additional speakers very soon, so stay tuned. Registration is open and tickets are still available, but they are going fast. We hope to see you there.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.