David Politis, Founder and CEO, BetterCloud: Managing and Safeguarding SaaS Operations for All

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Research reveals that 70 percent of all business applications in use today are SaaS-based. By 2025, 85% of business applications that companies use will be SaaS-based, according to BetterCloud’s 2020 State of SaaSOps report. 

HMG Strategy recently caught up with David Politis, Founder and CEO of BetterCloud, regarding the charter behind his company and its significance in today’s highly interactive cloud-based business environment.

HMG Strategy: What is BetterCloud’s unique selling proposition? What are the trends that you’re tracking that are playing right into your sweet spot?

David Politis: First, when we talk about what’s happening in the market, the adoption of SaaS has obviously just taken off. We’ve been looking at this year-over-year for the last 10 years and the number of SaaS applications in use in an organization has grown 10 times in the last 5 years. With that, it’s brought a whole new set of opportunities for IT leaders, for companies and for end users of these applications. The adoption of SaaS applications has also brought a whole new set of challenges. BetterCloud is there to solve those challenges so that companies can use those SaaS applications to the best of their ability.

 If I’m an IT leader, I want to know which SaaS apps are there, who’s using them, and what permissions those SaaS applications have. BetterCloud helps with that. If you’re an IT organization and you’re using all these SaaS applications, you want to automate the onboarding and the offboarding of the users in these SaaS applications and BetterCloud does that. If you’re a security leader, you want to know the files that are living in these applications and the sensitive data that’s living in those applications. We help with that, too.

Tell us a little about your VC backing and the type of industries that you play well in.

DP: We’ve raised about $185 million, $187 million to be exact. I think it’s validation for what we’re doing and the problems that we’re solving. The investors include Accel, Warburg Pincus and Bain, some of the best investors in the world.

We started this business focusing on only the early adopters. But over the last three or four years, that has changed tremendously. We’ve really crossed the chasm, both in terms of SaaS adoption and who uses BetterCloud. We’ve got financial institutions that are customers. We’ve got insurance companies. We’ve got physicians groups — you name it, we are working with everyone in every industry across the world. I think we have customers in 35 countries.

Are there logos or case studies that are on your website that you can talk about?

DP: Yeah, some of the companies such as Walmart are an example. That’s a very interesting one because that’s been over a period of time, and more and more businesses have been brought into Walmart that use BetterCloud. Now, it’s got a bigger footprint there.

Gartner released a report recently that described the SaaS management platform as a standalone tool that can discover, manage, and secure multiple SaaS applications from a central administration dashboard. Can you explain that and share with us?

DP: We’ve been talking to Gartner, Forrester and 451 Research over the years.  A couple of years ago, I would tell someone, ‘This is what BetterCloud does, and this is why you need it in your environment.’ These companies would tell me ‘No, we don’t use SaaS applications’ and now it’s just literally ubiquitous.

They talk about exactly what I said before, which is that you need to know what’s in your environment. You need to automate the ongoing management of your users and you need to secure the data that’s there. It’s that simple. In the homogenous world that we used to live in, you could do that in one single console. The problem is, we now live in a best-of-breed world where people have dozens and hundreds of SaaS applications. All their sensitive data is living in there. Their users are using that day-in, day-out to do their most critical work. So, it’s crucial to have a solution that sits across those applications and brings it all together for the control and the visibility.

What was your passion for creating BetterCloud?

DP: I am really passionate about SaaS. I started my career before SaaS was even really a term. I built a cloud PBX business in 2004, 2005, literally before cloud and SaaS were being used as terms and I saw the type of impact that it could have on a company, and it changed what people could do. For me, I’m just very passionate about SaaS and reducing friction in the workplace and driving productivity.

 I think I’ve mentioned this to you before, but one of our customers put it perfectly when they said to me, ‘What we use BetterCloud for is to create secure paths of least resistance for our users.’ That was a dream for me to hear a customer say that. I want the company to feel secure. I want the IT person to be successful, but ultimately, we want to change how people work, which is what SaaS can do. That’s what I’m passionate about.

Frankly, I’m passionate about building teams. It gives me a lot of joy to build teams and see people grow. That’s what life is about in a lot of ways.

You really are focused in on the humanistic point of view of accelerating human potential through SaaS and platforms and communication, teaming. You really secure that layer.

DP: That’s right. You said it much more succinctly than I did. That’s exactly right.

What else would you share with people who are interested in connecting with you?

DP: I always like to connect with IT leaders directly. I’m actually in the process of meeting with our top 100 customers in 100 days. It’s been the highlight of my last couple of years. If people want to reach out, they can reach out to me directly at Dave@BetterCloud.com. Of course, if you go to the website and put in your information, someone will get in touch with you very, very quickly. However, I’m always happy to talk to people and find them the right person to talk to.

 How easy is it to get started with BetterCloud?

DP: The best thing with BetterCloud, we’ve taken the approach where everything we do is via API to the SaaS platform, so there’s no agents that you have to deploy on devices. There are no reverse proxies you have to put into your network. This is all pretty straightforward to deploy, and you can do it in a matter of minutes. It’s really more figuring out what that right use case is, what you want to use the product for.

Is this the best time ever to be a technology professional?

DP: You can’t get better. I think this is the Golden Age of IT right now that we’re living in.

Key Takeaways:

  • More than ever, companies have turned to SaaS operations and applications to stay competitive and digitally transform
  • With SaaS applications being adopted at a rapid rate, this has led to challenges surrounding how best to discover, manage and secure SaaS operations and environments
  • BetterCloud is a leading SaaS management platform that helps thousands of companies improve visibility and to centralize and automate SaaSOps
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