Optimizing Product-Led Technology Organizations with Okta CIO Alvina Antar
Play • 18 min

On the 14th episode of Enterprise Software Innovators, hosts Evan Reiser (Abnormal Security) and Saam Motamedi (Greylock Partners) talk with Alvina Antar, Chief Information Officer at Okta. Okta is a leading workforce identity provider and helps some of the world’s largest companies connect people and technology in a secure environment. Today, Alvina shares her perspective on the importance of data decentralization and her insights on best practices for product-led technology organizations. 

Quick hits from Alvina:

On the importance of data availability: “Data and insights at the speed of the business is huge for us. [With Okta] being a high growth organization, we’re positioning ourselves to accelerate our self-service capabilities and democratize data for every employee. That means not just having the enterprise data capabilities within business technology, but being able to make that data accessible to everyone [in the organization].”

On Okta’s IT organizational structure: “A lot of times as a business technology or IT function we get challenged with dates..the business says ‘you know, I need this at the beginning of the fiscal year, it's required.’ And the dates are already given to us before we've even assessed the scope, let alone understand what's gonna take to actually deliver…We operate as a product and engineering organization for the company that's running our business. And so just as product and engineering isn't pressured [since] they're the experts of the technology that they're delivering to sell, we should have that same mindset and that is why myself and many of my peers are embracing this new product operating model, [because] it's not just a name change. You don't just move people and move their titles. It's a mindshift in thinking of operating as a product organization.”

On how startups can best pitch themselves: “The startups I spend the most time with are those that take the time to understand my strategies and how their product can help me be successful. And so they're not just pitching their product in their generic way but they actually understand the challenges that I'm facing and share stories - not at the surface level but at a level that would relate to me and to my team.”

Recent Book Recommendations:
Zero to IPO by Frederic Kerrest
Unapologetically Ambitious by Shellye Archambeau


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Find more great lessons from tech leaders and enterprise software experts at enterprisesoftware.blog.

Enterprise Software Innovators is produced by Josh Meer and Luke Reiser

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