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Becoming 100% Cloud: How Three Companies Went All-In on Cloud Adoption

Morgan Asher
Customer Reference Manager

Cloud computing has become a cornerstone of doing business today, and it’s no surprise that companies worldwide are adopting the cloud for better security, reduced costs, and central application access. Yet many organizations are still unsure how to contend with legacy systems and out-of-date architecture to running 100% in the cloud.

The challenge with legacy IT is that it inhibits growth. On premises systems are difficult to scale, and the expertise needed to maintain outdated infrastructure is on a rapid decline. Moreover, aging technology can lead to security vulnerabilities. Today’s distributed workforce adds to that challenge, with business partners and employees accessing apps and data using a variety of devices from multiple locations.

Employing acloud-first strategy allows organizations to retire legacy products that hinder growth and introduce secure central app and data access. This allows them to deploy apps quickly, reduce IT costs, increase security, and meet evolving workforce demands.

Let’s take a look at how these three companies transitioned from using legacy IT practices, to achieve 100% cloud IT strategies.

Massdrop: A cloud solution for a cloud-based organization

When Massdrop was first founded, it was a small startup that allowed people with similar interests to come together and find group discounts on products. Now, it’s grown into a leader in community-driven commerce, with demand—and profits—steadily on rise.

Starting with a workforce of 50 people and without any in-house IT, Massdrop’s identity management was chaos. Each of its cloud apps required a different set of user credentials, and as employees came and went over time, old digital identities were left floating around. This emphasized the need for streamlined identity and access management.

Given that Massdrop had no server infrastructure, when they hired their senior IT administrator, the first priority upon coming in was finding a cloud identity solution to match the cloud-first organization. Okta addressed all of Massdrop’s identity needs—from automated provisioning and deprovisioning with Lifecycle Management, to MFA for enhanced security, and single sign-on for easy access to apps. Since implementing Okta, Massdrop has gained over $60,000 in increased productivity and has seen a 90% improvement in provisioning time.

Read on about how Massdrop leveraged the cloud to solve its identity challenge.

Xero: Living a cloud ethos

Xerois a New Zealand-based company providing easy-to-use online accounting software for small businesses. As a cloud-based firm, it found a natural partner in Okta as they prepared for intense growth.

“We want to get everything we can into the cloud and we're doing our best to get rid of all the systems that rely on anything internal,” says Xero Infrastructure Engineer Dan Bowden. “We see Okta as being vital to that. It's the center of where we will manage all our apps.”

Since implementing Okta Single Sign-On, Xero has integrated over 120 applications with Okta and simplified employee access to them. It has allowed them to retire Microsoft Active Directory Federation Service and DirSync, resulting in annual savings of up to NZ$10,000 in hosting fees. The company also uses Okta Adaptive Multi-Factor Authentication, adding another layer of security and staying true to its cloud ethos.

Learn more about Xero’s cloud journey and creating “beautiful” accounting software.

ThoughtWorks: Managing growth with the cloud

ThoughtWorks is a global software company that has experienced rapid international growth over the last decade, with a 10–15% annual increase in headcount across the world. When IT couldn’t keep pace with such enormous growth, they looked to the cloud and took on a cloud-first strategy.

ThoughtWorks’ TechOps Head of Technology Phil Ibarrola faced a number of issues: manual provisioning processes, cumbersome physical RSA security tokens, and frequent outages caused by password-reset cycles. To address these challenges, he turned to Okta, implementingSingle Sign-On and Adaptive Multi-Factor Authentication. This led to reduced outages and a 90% decrease in helpdesk tickets for MFA credential resets and password resets—an equivalent of $800K in savings.

The company also moved to Okta Lifecycle Management with Access Request Workflow, automating the provisioning process by delegating application access requests to business owners. This eliminated more than 1,000 hours of manual onboarding, offboarding, and troubleshooting, decreasing IT’s workload and increasing employee productivity.

Find out how ThoughtWorks pressed ahead with the cloud.

When an organization commits to a cloud-first strategy, the benefits are felt across the board: automated processes and provisioning, central access, and enhanced security make life easier for everyone, enabling employees to focus on the tasks that matter most and freeing IT teams to focus on strategic projects that drive the business. Through Okta, companies can move to the cloud and benefit all aspects of their operations.

Learn more about how cloud-first strategies allow companies to retire legacy IT and enable a more effective workforce.

Morgan Asher
Customer Reference Manager

As part of the customer marketing team at Okta, Morgan runs the customer reference program to share the impact Okta makes at our customers’ organizations. She’s always eager to learn how Okta customers are leveraging cloud technologies to drive change and find different opportunities to promote their success.

Originally from Michigan, Morgan now lives in San Francisco. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, trying new restaurants and running.