How much money are enterprise-level organizations losing every year because they don’t have an enterprise reliability management platform to automate incident response? Over 100 billion dollars. That’s a lot of wasted money. But what really got me to join Blameless is the thousands of hours engineers, sales people, customer success, and customers waste in manual, heart-wrenching, low value activities when there is an outage. Everyone should know what they need to know instantly. Engineers shouldn’t have to waste hours or days researching metadata to prepare for an RCA that should be automated. CEOs/CIOs/CISOs should have a real time risk dashboard on things that could break again. And everything should be headless and connected to all of your enterprise tools. It’s 2023 and technology should be eliminating toil in everyone’s life so we can focus on things that make a difference.
Operational Transformation in My Early Career
I remember one day as a 17 year old developer seeing a huge line at something called a “fax machine”. There were 30 people lined up to use it. I thought, “that’s crazy, I can make them push one button and they can fax from their desk”. Faxlink was born the next year.
Later in my twenties, I became convinced that every business was going to run their business on the Internet. I remember sitting in a VC’s office pitching my company which would eventually become WEB.COM. After triumphantly stating, “bottom line, every business is going to run their business on the Internet,” he laughed and said “do you really believe that?”. A few years later, I took that company public as CEO.
I have been driving huge transformations all of my career at some of the largest companies across the globe spanning multiple verticals. From the Google-funded Unqork, to leading product at New Relic, to driving digital transformation before it was called digital transformation at Cox Automotive (Dealertrack, Manheim, AutoTrader and more), to speaking and consulting with the Global 1000 on how to truly operate like a digital business.
I found common threads across all these experiences. Each time, an organization sought to solve a big problem by transforming the way an industry operates, and each time the organization itself had to transform in order to solve that problem effectively.
Reliability has become a harder problem
Originally, companies ran monoliths that were up or down, secure or not. Now companies have hundreds or thousands of microservices, containers, and potential security threats. Engineers are bombarded for updates in the middle of incidents on phone calls, MS Teams, or Slack. Customers are often the first to notice a problem, but often the last to be informed. Without automating communications between engineering and customer success, customers stay out of the loop and frustrated.
In this complex landscape, incidents can be devastating. Brand damage, lost revenue and burn out abound – and that’s just during the incident! After resolution, teams have to conduct a retrospective. This could take hours or days, as you have to: research what happened, have a Contributing Factor Analysis to uncover the causes, and compile and execute follow up tasks in ticketing systems. Further investment could be required in your security, operational procedures, or codebase to prevent repeating incidents.
But imagine if you had a workflow that let your engineers work entirely within Slack or MS Teams while still accessing connected systems. It could handle everything from managing the work of resolution, to automatically communicating with stakeholders, to compiling the info needed for learning afterwards. Imagine the time and energy companies could save, the trust that would build in their brand, and the shift towards valuable work and away from toil.
The opportunity to realize this value drove me to solve this 100 billion dollar problem with Blameless.
Incident Management - The Solution to Enterprise Level Unreliability
When I consider the enormity of unreliability for enterprise, it’s clear that the company who solves it will be providing immense value to the entire engineering ecosystem. There is a rare unmet opportunity for the right organization to transform the way their customers build and operate digital experiences if they can rise to the challenge and deliver an enterprise-ready reliability solution. I was so excited to sit down with Blameless when I realized they were the ones best situated to meet enterprise needs.
So, here we are, about to embark on our own organizational transformation to help us capture this amazing opportunity. We are delivering a complete reliability solution: guiding responders to resolve incidents effectively with role-based checklists and automatic stakeholder communication, making learning easy with retrospectives and insightful pattern tracking, safeguarding the expectations most important to users with SLOs, and so much more. With these tools, enterprises will be fully equipped to keep their services running and their customers happy.
Solving a 100 billion dollar problem doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a change that happens practice by practice, person by person, org by org. With Blameless, we’re helping orgs make those changes. I’m thrilled to be at the forefront of this new era of reliability.
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