Cloud startup Airtable’s no-code software creation platform
San Francisco, California-based Airtable offers project management software for team collaboration and bespoke app creation.
The company describes its offering as being as easy-to-use as a spreadsheet, while being as powerful as a database.
One of its defining features is known as Airtable Blocks, which allow for the tailoring of software without coding, adding features such as Slack or Google Maps integration. By combining such features, those without specialist skills can still create software with the necessary functionality.
In at the time of its Series B round back in 2018, Howie Liu, co-founder and CEO, said of the company’s no-code software creation platform: “Blocks introduces workflows that were not previously possible — not only on the Airtable platform, but on any platform before. Custom apps that would have, in the past, cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to create, and taken months to build by a team of software engineers, can now be made in a matter of days by the end users themselves. Whether you’re an urban farmer, an interior designer, or building the next Fortune 500, the power of software creation is now available to you.”
Since its foundation in 2013, the company has raised across six funding rounds. Its latest , announced yesterday, saw the company raise $185mn from lead investor Thrive Capital, alongside Benchmark Capital, Coatue, CRV, Caffeinated Capital, and D1 Capital Partners. That latest round has cemented its position as a tech unicorn (a startup worth over $1bn), sending it to a valuation of more than $2.5bn.
In an interview , Howie Liu mentioned the ongoing pandemic as potentially benefiting Airtable, saying: “The next wave of Covid-accelerated adoption will be around Airtable and other products that let companies build structured workflows that are more remote-work compatible and digitally native."
IT Employees Predict 90% Increase in Cloud Security Spending
As companies get back on their feet post-pandemic, they’re going all-in on cloud applications. In a recent report by Devo Technology titled “Beyond Cloud Adoption: How to Embrace the Cloud for Security and Business Benefits”, 81% of the 500 IT and security team members surveyed said that COVID accelerated their cloud timelines. More than half of the top-performing businesses reported gains in visibility. In fact, the cloud now outnumbers on-premise solutions at a 3:1 ratio.
But the benefits are accompanied by significant cybersecurity risks, as cloud infrastructure is more complex than legacy systems. Let’s dive in.
Why Are Cloud Platforms Taking Over?
According to Forrester, the public cloud infrastructure market could grow 28% over the next year, up to US$113.1bn. Companies shifting to remote work and decentralised workplaces find it easy to store and access information, especially as networks start to share more and more supply chain and enterprise information—think risk mitigation platforms and ESG ratings.
Here’s the catch: when you shift to the cloud, you choose a more complex system, which often requires cloud-native platforms for network security. In other words, you can’t stop halfway. ‘Only cloud-native platforms can keep up with [the cloud’s] speed and complexity” and ultimately increase visibility and control’, said Douglas Murray, CEO at cloud security provider Valtix.
Here’s a quick list of the top cloud security companies, as ranked by Software Testing Help:
What are the Security Issues?
Here’s the bad news. According to Accenture, less than 40% of companies have achieved the full value they expected on their cloud investments. All-in greater complexity has forced companies to spend more to hire skilled tech workers, analyse security data, and manage new cybersecurity threats.
The two main issues are (1) a lack of familiarity with cloud systems and (2) challenges with shifting legacy security systems to new platforms. Out of the 500 IT employees from Devo Technology’s cloud report, for example, 80% said they’d sorted 40% more security data, suffered from a lack of cloud security training, and experienced a 60% increase in cybersecurity threats.
How Will Companies React?
They certainly won’t stop investing in cloud platforms. Out of the 500 enterprise-level companies that Devo Technology talked to throughout North America and Western Europe, 90% anticipated a jump in cloud security spending in 2021. They’ll throw money at automating security processes and investing in security upskilling programmes.
After all, company executives will find it incredibly difficult to stick with legacy systems when some cloud-centred companies have found success. Since moving from Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) offerings to the cloud, Accenture has saved up to 70% on its processes; recently, the company announced that it would invest US$3bn to help its clients ‘realise the cloud’s business value, speed, cost, talent, and innovation benefits’.
The company stated: ‘Security is often seen as the biggest inhibitor to a cloud-first journey—but in reality, it can be its greatest accelerator’.