"ADOPT A MINDSET OF INTENTIONALITY ABOUT INNOVATION AND WORK."- MARK MCCLAIN, CEO & CO-FOUNDER, SAILPOINT TECHNOLOGIES
A Perspective on Innovation
Innovation can take many forms. For the tech industry, innovation is a
business tool. This entails engineering new solutions to old problems,
designing different approaches and different processes, and creating new
strategies and products to keep the company competitive. Austin has
nurtured a culture of innovation and groomed its tech industry to be one
of the leading hubs in the United States – and world. Mark McClain, CEO
and co-founder of Sailpoint, underlines below how his company’s success
and Austin’s growth are shaped, driven, and enabled by innovation:
SailPoint is the leader in identity security for the modern enterprise.
Harnessing the power of AI and machine learning, SailPoint empowers
the most complex enterprises worldwide to build a security foundation
grounded in identity security. This is an industry defined by innovation:
For many, innovation is synonymous with disruption. However,
disruption is only a flavor of innovation, one that is powerful to drive
industry-wide change. My perspective on innovation is that there are
many forms of it. While disruption is one outcome of innovation, other
forms of innovation can sometimes yield even greater results.
Innovation isn’t always about dreaming up new ideas or inventions.
Solving old problems in new ways is a source of change and business
sustainability. For market-driven companies, I’ve learned that listening
carefully to the pain points – the frustrations – experienced by customers
to find solutions to their problems, challenges, and needs is vitally
important. Innovation addresses the underserved and unserved needs of
If your company’s core value is innovation, that business – and its leaders
– needs to continually strive and work for opportunities to innovate. It
is a mindset: how to do more for customers. This is also a trait of doing business in Austin.
Businesses have access to more data than ever before. In the past, we
often had to make do with anecdotal evidence to piece together a picture
of what customers needed, and from that, we’d come up with solutions.
Now we have data on every metric imaginable; the innovation process
has transformed into one of continual advancement. We can access more
accurate, deeper data, and we can share it more easily. That leads to better
products, systems, and solutions to better serve customers. The future will
see ever-faster market shifts and changes, and businesses will need to
adapt yet even quicker.
Advice and Best Practices
The best practice for business is to be highly attuned to market needs and
identify new Opportunities to solve customers’ challenges. This will push
innovation into new directions.
Adopt a mindset of intentionality about innovation and work. React
swiftly to shifts in your company’s market or target audience. And don’t
be afraid to allow outside forces to surface new perspectives inside your
company and with its leaders.
For the past 25 years, Austin has been experiencing an influx of talent.
Diversity is one of Austin’s true calling cards now. It results in a wider
mix of ideas and perspectives. A surge of start-ups brings new ideas and
creative energy to Austin’s business landscape. Austin is fostering a deep
culture of innovation within its community.
Austin’s unique position as a hub of art, design, education, and creativity
has established it to be a leader in innovation. Another differentiator
from other regions – Silicon Valley, for instance – is the openness and
helpfulness of our business community. This mindset allows for creative
collaboration geared toward problem-solving. It drives innovation
Austin’s local government supports businesses and reduces obstacles
where possible. With a leading university in the city, the future workforce
is guaranteed. Living and working in Austin – and raising families here –
are opportunities to be a part of a community unlike any other.