Interview Synopsis

Okta – cloud IAM security leader, competitive dynamics & innovation challenges

  • Public Equity
  • TMT
  • North America

Okta, founded in San Francisco in 2009, started off as providing a “simple single sign-on [SSO] portal” for companies working with cloud, a former senior director from the company told Third Bridge Forum. “IT was going crazy because there were all these accounts and all these systems they had no control over, people’s passwords were all over the place. What Okta did was… they were the first successful and the first widely adopted SSO.”

The specialist went on to explain that “it’s a very, very broad market space”, including provisioning applications, authentication, auditing people’s access, accessing servers, accessing old infrastructure, accessing cloud and many more use cases. 

Okta started in a small portion of this but has since branched out, they explained. “Core IAM [identity access management] capabilities were really their focus for the first few years. Then they started to realise that to go beyond core capabilities into areas like PAM [privileged access management], MDM, IGA [identity governance and administration] and so on.”

The discussion turned to how Okta has been developing its enterprise segment, focusing on IGA and PAM, as well as how its acquisition of Auth0 is affecting the build-out of CIAM  [customer identity access management].

Passwordless technology and the competitive dynamics in this space were also covered. “I think from a passwordless perspective, we’re still seeing some start-ups in the space we mentioned, and Hypr is another one that’s in this space, and Okta has its own path it’s following from a passwordless perspective.”

The Interview finished with a 1-3 year outlook for Okta. With Microsoft as a competitor, the former senior director commented that “even if Microsoft earns more money in this market, and it has more customers, there is still an enormous space left. The number two in this space is still going to be very profitable and very wealthy, so I think Okta is in a fantastic position.” 

They also pointed to the importance of delivering on product: “If they make some decisions that delay delivery of product or they’ve released product in a way that customers find difficult to use, that’s going to make it very, very hard for them and their sales team are really going to suffer if they can’t deliver on the promises they’ve been making with respects to product.”

To access all the human insights from Third Bridge Forum’s Okta – cloud IAM security leader, competitive dynamics & innovation challenges Interview, click here to view the full transcript.


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The information used in compiling this document has been obtained by Third Bridge from experts participating in Forum Interviews. Third Bridge does not warrant the accuracy of the information and has not independently verified it. It should not be regarded as a trade recommendation or form the basis of any investment decision.

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