Meet John Becker, CEO of ScienceLogic, a data center, IT operations, and cloud management company. Prior to joining ScienceLogic, Becker was CEO of Approva Corporation. He holds a bachelor of science degree in Business Administration from the University of Richmond.
WashingtonExec caught up with Becker and chatted about his role in the IT sector, how his past experiences have prepped him for ScienceLogic, the state of IT and cloud computing, information dissemination, and more. Read on below for our interview with John Becker.
WashingtonExec: Can you tell us a little more about your background and how you got into information technology?
John Becker: I started my career as an accountant at Marriott Corporation in Bethesda, MD. I was one of the first employees at Marriott to receive what was affectionately known as “a COMPAQ Luggable” one of the first portable computers that reminded me of a portable Singer sewing machine. I was able to quickly generate financial reports for the senior executives at Marriott that had previously taken weeks to create and deliver on ugly yellow 14 column ledger paper. From that point forward I was hooked on technology and eventually started to pursue a career with venture backed high technology companies.
WashingtonExec: You’ve held several positions as CEO at Cybertrust, TruSecure Corp, AXENT Technologies, and most recently, Approva. How have these experiences prepped you for ScienceLogic?
John Becker: I have had the privilege of working for large and small organizations and found four common elements that make them successful- foresight in recognizing a large or underserved market opportunity; ability to uniquely differentiate or disrupt the market; brand recognition; talented employees and access to adequate investment capital. As CEO of ScienceLogic, my role is one of orchestration and ensuring the necessary resources are there to deliver on the founder’s vision so that we can consistently grow the business and build a lasting organization.
ScienceLogic has all the elements- a billion dollar market opportunity, passionate motivated empowered employees, a modern differentiated solution to monitoring IT infrastructure regardless of where it resides–on premise or in the cloud–and an expanding base of customers who are enthusiastic about our solution.”
WashingtonExec: What can you tell us about ScienceLogic’s global sales expansion?
John Becker: ScienceLogic was primarily focused on the North American market but has recently expanded into Europe and the Pacific Rim and the international markets are becoming our fastest growing businesses.
WashingtonExec: Are big data, cloud computing and mobility connected? How so?
John Becker: Clearly they are! We have become an always on mobile society and expect consistent, accurate and relevant information to be available and at our fingertips on demand through a myriad of devices- smartphones, tablets, notebooks. These evolving devices are still going to rely on some flavor of underlying cloud platform, requiring increasingly centralized management systems. Both the platform and the end-devices are generating inordinate amounts of data that is becoming increasingly useful toward both commercial intelligence for go-to-market decision-making, and increasingly for operational efficiency too.
WashingtonExec: What do you find to be some challenges in information dissemination?
John Becker: Information overload and privacy. With so many sources of information and company’s bombarding individuals with advertising- getting the precise, relevant information to the appropriate individual in a meaningful context and at the correct time continues to be a challenge. It still amazes me that after researching cars on the internet- everywhere I go on the internet I am followed by ads for Jeep Grand Cherokees even after having bought a JEEP Grand Cherokee a year ago! Chrysler is paying someone to do that? Seems like a waste to me. It also makes me wonder who is protecting individual privacy and whether one of our fundamental rights has been compromised by the internet advertising model.
WashingtonExec: What is the state of your IT operations and cloud market?
John Becker: The state of the IT Operations and cloud market is explosive! In technology, there is a constant quest for increased productivity, efficiency and effectiveness as well as a relentless pursuit of smaller, more consumable form factors for technology. Cloud computing is just the next step in this continual evolution. We have seen tablets and smartphones with the computing power of decades old Mainframes. We are moving to a paperless world in industries like banking, finance, media and healthcare. All of this new infrastructure and affiliated services will need to be monitored and managed with modern technology and methods, presenting an enormous opportunity for ScienceLogic.
WashingtonExec: How do you think IT and cloud computing might change for the future?
John Becker: We are seeing the future for the next several decades right now- we have moved from the mainframe era, to the client server era and are now in the early innings of the cloud era- where the ability to build and maintain resilient self-healing networks will become commonplace around the world and not just for large multi-national organizations running business critical applications.
These always on, on-demand networks along with the corresponding knowledge content and ability to collaborate through increasingly collaborate apps, including video, will break down traditional cultural and economic barriers, and accelerate the pace of how the next generation of students learn and become educated.”
WashingtonExec: Where do you envision taking ScienceLogic, in terms of IT infrastructure management?
John Becker: With the continuous advances in processing power and concept of virtual compute, we are uniquely positioned to build a set of IT infrastructure management tools for what I call liquid compute. Our goal is to simplify the lives of those who run the IT infrastructure- help make them more efficient and effective, and increase their productivity by reducing information overload so that they can focus on critical tasks- a concept we call SmartIT. In a world where applications and their data are run on machines you may or may not own, control or see, the health of those applications is critical to your business and you must have the visibility to manage those resources wherever they reside in private, hybrid or public clouds. Hardware breaks, connectivity fails, and applications can hang in an unproductive state- Having the ability to monitor the health, risk and availability of the resources available to organizations is a critical opportunity for ScienceLogic and an enormous responsibility.
WashingtonExec: What is your proudest achievement?
John Becker: Getting married and beginning a family are at the top of my list. It brought and still provides perspective about what is really important each and every day. My wife is incredibly supportive and generous. My children- their creativity, capacity for learning and their ability to easily absorb, embrace and utilize technology inspires me! My family allows me to create a unique balance in life and avoid getting too caught up in the minutia.
WashingtonExec: If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?
John Becker: While I enjoy skiing, cycling, golfing and relaxing at the beach- I don’t see myself doing that full time anytime soon. It is in my nature to help build and develop teams to pursue change and have a positive impact on business or some other aspect of life. Perhaps I will have the honor to help guide my children as they begin to embrace entrepreneurship.
WashingtonExec: Who is someone that you admire, personally or professionally?
John Becker: My parents- they embody foundational principals of hard work, ethical behavior and the pursuit of a better life with a positive attitude. Both are in their 90’s and have endured the struggles of the great depression, WWII, regional conflicts, the assassination of a President and the cold war. My mother survived the occupation of France by Germany and then observed as the world and the way we interact was transformed by technology. They worked tirelessly to ensure my sister and I earned an education and had the opportunity to pursue our dreams. What they learned firsthand from those kinds of experiences and taught my sister and I is priceless.