We all know data has become one the most potentially valuable resources inside of the enterprise — this has been a building trend for a decade, made even more real with the widespread cloud adoption coupled with relatively inexpensive data storage and applications (Teradata was great but came at a substantial cost). We have been on an amazing path in technology over the past decade collecting more and more data to help us make better decisions, make us more productive, and deliver new services.
Data is great — but if you cannot make use of it then all the effort is at best limited and at worst totally wasted. Data silos benefit only those with the keys to them. Users find it impossible or hard at best to navigate between data silos. Even if the keepers of the silo want to enable others to use the data, they remain an enormous bottleneck. There are many tools on the market helping bring data forward into the view of the users who drive the business, but they also generate an incredible amount of noise and are difficult to sort through. Plenty of those tools serve to make the data inaccessible to the organization even further, by cutting it up in proprietary and narrowly focused ways, relevant to only a handful of users who could find the budget to buy the overpriced tool.
The next wave of interesting companies will be the ones that can truly make data usable by applications and by the people beyond the technical data scientists and engineers. One of those companies that we have been fortunate to be an investor in since the early rounds is Workato. I first wrote about Workato when we invested in 2017 — and again with each step along the way here and here. As the market has evolved, it is clearer now that Workato has the ability to build something that looks like an enterprise OS that makes automation of processes and data sharing between applications possible like never before. There have been companies in the past that could enable pieces of this big picture, but it was often at an enormous cost and hidden due to the complexity to all but a few in the organization. This was ok for maybe a couple of applications and pieces of data but was never going to realize the true value of an intelligent enterprise where the data and applications are working for not only engineers but also the people driving the business.
We raised the next round to go after this opportunity of helping enterprises wire their applications together in an intelligent way, leveraging the cloud and enabling more of the effort put behind the data to be realized. The team has put together a plan and a vision to truly impact the future of the enterprise in this new age of data. And as you can imagine — as an early stage B2B SaaS investor who thinks about the future of the enterprise every day — I am grateful to be along for the journey. After being an enterprise investor for many years and seeing everything that they have accomplished, I am pretty confident that Workato represents part of the future of the enterprise. It’s a market everyone interested in enterprise IT ought to follow.
I also encourage you to read the blog post by Vijay Tella, the CEO & founder of Workato, who put together his thoughts on the next phase for the business here.