In my own words, a message from Armory’s new CEO

Aug 31, 2021 by Jim Douglas

Jim Douglas Two weeks into my new role and I’m more fired up than I was on day one. I evaluated a lot of opportunities before making the choice to join Armory, but there was no doubt in my mind where I was going next on my professional journey once I got engaged with the Armory team. From the minute I sat down with DROdio and the Armory board . . . I was all in.

The “why” is simple, pain and opportunity. I spent the last several years of my career serving customers who deployed solutions into critical infrastructure globally. Tough calls from customers in the markets we served weren’t “hey, my mail servers been down for two hours.” They were more like “Hey if you don’t help us fix this problem every XYZ aircraft in the world is going to be grounded.” And it was irrelevant if we were the root cause of the problem. Bad things, not inconvenient things, would happen if we couldn’t identify solutions quickly and deploy software rapidly. This brings me to the pain. One of the challenges we had internally was the ability to reliably and safely scale up our deployment engine when necessary. Given the nature of our business, we didn’t have a need for continuous high-volume deployment, but we needed the ability to “flex” . . . scale up and scale back down with the same consistent methodology.

This challenge became more acute as we began selling directly to our traditional customers’ customers and for the first time were the frontline of operational defense. Our SLAs suddenly changed radically (and not for the better). As we struggled with implementing and automating a deployment methodology to meet our growing needs, it became obvious that the majority of our customers were going to run head-first into this challenge as well. I spent the past few years preaching to executives that would listen that their businesses would change rapidly over the next 5-10 years and that they had to start thinking software first now. The consequences of not making a shift in mindset about how they created and captured value would be significant. I also began educating them on how their software delivery approach had to evolve to support this tectonic shift.

And that brings me to the opportunity. If we were struggling with building a deployment engine with the attributes I mentioned previously, I knew we weren’t alone. I also knew there was a big opportunity in solving this challenge. I’d seen this movie before. I’d seen how companies like Pure Software, Atria, Rational, and Mercury in the 90s and early “00s” created great value by automating critical components of the software PDLC. And then companies like Atlassian, New Relic, Mulesoft, GitHub, (I could go on and on) did it again in the “10s”. I smelled an opportunity to help build one of the next great enterprise software companies. Enter Armory!

We’re on a mission to help companies unlock innovation and adapt to changing customer and market conditions on the fly by making cloud-native software deployments reliable, safe, and scalable. We are helping companies achieve the software deployment velocity they need to meet their business objectives. I couldn’t be more excited than to be part of this great team on a journey to build a great company. Proud to take the CEO baton from DROdio and work with him to fulfill the vision he, Isaac Mosquera, and Ben Mappen had that resulted in the formation of Armory five years ago.

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