As we head into the new year, there is a lot of reflection on what we have accomplished and where we tried but didn’t succeed. Looking forward, I am most excited about the massive architectural changes going on in infrastructure as it adapts to business requirements.
Cloud computing has had a tremendous impact on what organizations expect from their environments. Those expectations will have a remarkable impact on what emerges and defines 2017.
Here are my Top 5 predictions as to what to expect in 2017 in IT infrastructure and security.
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With all of the talk these days about how much security has changed, you’d think something extraordinary has happened.
I’ve worked in the security industry for 16 years. Way back in 2000, we were already past the initial viruses that created the industry for companies like Symantec and McAfee. There were also a lot of virus writers pursuing underground fame. That changed, and more hackers then worked to steal.
While the bad guys’ intent evolved, what they attacked and how they attacked stayed relatively similar. In fact, recent reports by Verizon, HP and others about exploited vulnerabilities highlights that the approaches taken by the bad guys don’t need to change because the environments they attack don’t change. There is plenty of innovation going on, but for the vast majority of attacks, they still use the same old stuff.
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Congratulations to the crew at Nutanix, who just hit the public markets in a successful IPO. I hope this marks the beginning of a tech-IPO revival. What it definitely demonstrates is that organizations are investing heavily in their hybrid enterprise infrastructure. It also highlights the huge role converged systems will have on the data centers that companies will continue to build.
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As you’ve probably already seen, we announced a $30M round of funding yesterday. The funding process was a great opportunity to really sharpen how we think and talk about our goals as a business, and I wanted to share some of those ideas here.
First, a quick recap on what the $30M means from a financial standpoint. This round brings our total capital raised to $67M. That’s enough to scale a company, if used wisely, while ensuring meaningful returns for our employees and investors. At the same time, as Silicon Valley Business Journal wrote:
When it raised its $30 million Series B round a year ago, the nearly sevenfold increase in its valuation was one of the biggest step-ups of the year. This year’s round isn’t that big of a jump, but it is up about 70 percent and gives the company a $245 million valuation. It’s definitely not one of the “down rounds” talked about so much lately.
I think it’s interesting to look at who participated with us, too. Our existing investors–Sutter Hill, Index Ventures and Intel Capital–continue to support us, which is a great sign as they know what is really going on inside the company. At this stage of a company you often can choose between the more traditional venture capital community or look for investors that have more direct selling and delivery interaction with customers.
We decided on a bit of a hybrid. Our two lead investors this round were Google Ventures, now known as GV, and Cisco. Google is known for placing long-term bets in all kinds of revolutionary segments, and they have deep expertise in both public and private cloud. Cisco has their finger on the pulse of the needs and pains of the enterprise IT market like few other companies. Our other investors, Thomvest Ventures, Northgate Capital and InstantScale, each represent the interests of other segments of the IT buying community, including finance, telcos and the channel. We felt that this group of investors would provide us a really strong sounding board and network as we grow our business, while also lending a powerful validation of our approach to customers we were trying to reach.
And that’s really what this round is about for Skyport: we’re investing some of it in R&D, but a lot of is going into building out our Go-To-Market and importantly, our Customer Support resources and talent. The large customers we have in production have legitimately high expectations of us–they’re hosting some of their most important applications on SkySecure. We intend to make sure that they, and new customers joining them, experience excellence from our first engagements onward.