Making Identity Management "Business as Usual" Down Under: Thoughts on Our Expansion to Asia Pacific

Graham PearsonThere’s been a lot of coverage recently surrounding our $75 million Series E funding, however amidst the excitement, you may have missed that we also opened a brand new HQ in Sydney, Australia. This HQ gives us the flexibility to not only build a dynamic sales and technical office to service Australia and New Zealand, but also grow across Asia Pacific.

And the timing couldn’t be any better. The Australian market has enjoyed a large adoption rate of cloud-based services by both government and corporate organisations in the past few years. What’s more is that’s expected to grow massively over the next few. (According to IDC, the total cloud services market in Australia will grow from $884.4 million in 2012 to $2,671.9 million in 2017 at a compound annual growth rate of 24.7 per cent.)

“Cloud in 2013 is now business as usual for CIOs, IT managers, and LOB managers,” IDC Australia's cloud services research senior analyst, Raj Mudaliar, said in a statement. “By 2015, cloud will be just another delivery model for a range of as-a-service offerings that are based on infrastructure as a service, platform as a service and software as a service [SaaS].”

The move to cloud-based services (not to mention, a growing emphasis on mobile) is a massive shift that’s forcing enterprises to re-architect their IT departments and consider what will play an essential role in the modern environment. But for many, security still remains a barrier to adoption, with IT organisations struggling to securely manage user access across traditional network and company boundaries. Enter Okta.

Allowing Work to Happen Beyond 9-5

In just a few short years, cloud computing has affected the daily lives of a majority of people on this planet. Doing things “in the cloud” has become a common catchphrase, but with more and more Australian organisations adopting cloud services, it is important to understand not just the benefits, like speed to market and easy user adoption, but also the challenges – like security. We’re in the midst of a big shift from on-premises, legacy technologies to a cloud and mobile-centric world. We all work beyond the 9-5 workday and having the ability to “do your job” at home or in the coffee shop is essential.

Enterprises rely on their IT leadership to make those scenarios a reality – both adopting the services that allow people to get access to applications to get their job done, but also ensuring that access is seamless and secure. Okta is at the heart of both.

So what benefits can you expect to see as a result? They include:

1. Increasing security and control – minimise passwords and control your application usage.

2. Reducing IT costs on a capital spend – cut provision time by 30 percent plus no third-party multi-factor authentication costs.

3. Maximising SaaS return on investment and ensure compliance – giving the business visibility of who is accessing what and the correct user counts for other SaaS applications.

4. Improving productivity – faster application rollout. ROI to the business, adoption is today not tomorrow and self-service password reset.

This opportunity, doubled with Okta recently being named as a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Identity and Access Management as a Service (IDaaS), is a testament to all the progress our company, partners and customers have made together over the past five years. And now it’s time for our incredible Aussie team to introduce Okta to the Australian market.

As Okta’s first Vice President of Asia Pacific, I can tell you our aim is and always will be to delight our users and make accessing their work just as simple at home, on the train or in their favourite coffee shop as it is sitting at their desk.

Okta has, and will continue to, take a fresh approach to connecting all that IT touches – all people, applications, devices and companies. Currently Okta connects 1,200+ customers, four million users and 10 million devices daily. I am looking forward to growing those numbers by validating our position in the Australian market and turning Okta into the leading IDaaS vendor by growing our operations throughout the region.