Why do we do what we do? In a 2009 iconic TED talk, Simon Sinek explained that most people know what they do, some know how they do it, but it is why they do it that actually matters. What is the belief, the cause, the passion that drives them. It is “the why” that separates great leaders and businesses from mediocre ones.
As we come close to our third birthday, and as one of the first employees, thinking about “Why Cato?” also has a personal meaning. Because “the why” question also applies to every one of us in everything we do and keeps us engaged and excited.
Why does Cato exist? Cato was built to make the IT team’s job easier. Cato believes that chaos and complexity in the IT department is growing exponentially. IT teams are in constant firefighting mode. Even a job well done, the hard way, leaves critical work undone. Responding to and protecting the business is becoming more difficult despite the clear evidence that both are essentially needed to survive in today’s digital economy. And yet, no vendor takes on the task to address this systemic problem. As an industry, we are focused on the opposite: adding more layers, more products and more complexity — leaving our customers to clear the mess.
Why did I join Cato? Because I believe what Cato believes. I have been in the industry for more than 30 years, half of them on the customer side of IT. I worked for many companies that tackled different parts of the cost-complexity-value equation. Some produced powerful products that were difficult to deploy and maintain. Other companies cut certain costs through automation in one discipline, but expanded the scope IT had to manage overall. Nothing was easy. There is a point that you must cut through the “Gordian Knot” — but very few dare to attempt that.
Cato dares. Cato has a transformative vision of IT that will take your breath away. Breaking down decades-old silos, converging disparate IT disciplines, and applying innovation everywhere to eradicate complexity and costs. We don’t play nice — if a point solution or even a whole category can be eliminated or collapsed to make it easy — it is gone, gradually and seamlessly. When customers sit through our basic solution presentation they really have only one question: “Are you for real?”. No one asks for ROI or TCO analysis because, as Simon Sinek noted, “It just feels right.”
When we started Cato, we knew what we wanted to achieve and the extent of our vision. Some skeptics called it “ambitious.” We didn’t know how many customers, partners, and employees would join us in this journey to make IT easy. We built a world-class engineering team that redefines what is possible with cloud, software, global networking, and human ingenuity. We formed a partner community that is challenging the industry known evils that brought us here. And, we signed up hundreds of customers — small, medium, and large, that said: “enough is enough.”
We are entering 2018, growing as fast as possible. We can now answer the question: “Yes, we are real. Help is on the way.” Stay tuned.