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Greylock’s Asheem Chandna on ‘shifting left’ in cybersecurity and the future of enterprise startups

Last week was a busy week, what with legislative elections in Myanmar and all( well, and the United Nation, I suspect ). So perhaps “youre gonna” glued to your Tv or smartphone, and missed out on our discourse with Asheem Chandna, a long-time partner at Greylock who has invested in organization and cybersecurity startups for nearly two decades now, backing such illustrious companionships as Palo Alto Networks, AppDynamics and Sumo Logic. We have more Extra Crunch Live testifies coming up.

Enterprise software is changing faster this year than it has in a decade. Coronavirus, remote employment, collaboration and new cybersecurity threats have combined to force companies to rethink their IT strategies, and that signifies more possibilities — and challenges — for project founders than ever before. In some lawsuits, we are seeing an acceleration under the existing tendencies, and in others, we are seeing all new trends come to the forefront.

All that is to say that there was so much on the docket to talk about last week. Chandna and I discussed what’s happening in early-stage enterprise startups, whether vertical SaaS is the future of enterprise investing, data and no-code scaffolds, and then this rise of “shift left” security.

The following interview has been edited and condensed from our original Extra Crunch Live conversation.

What’s happening today in the early-stage startup world?

Chandna has been a long-time backer of startups at their earliest stages, with some of his investments being literally delivery in Greylock’s bureaux. So I was curious how he saw the landscape today given all that prior experience.

TechCrunch: What kind of fellowships are provoking for you today? Are there particular business you’re particularly attuned to?

Asheem Chandna: One is digital changeover. Every company is trying to figure out how becoming ever more digital, and this has been accelerated by COVID-1 9. Second is information technology today and its tour to the cloud. I would say we might be about 10% or 15% of the room there. Some of the trends are clear, but the travel is actually still relatively early, and so there’s merely a ton of opportunity ahead.

The third one is leveraging data for better predictability along with analytics. Every CEO is looking to make better decisions. And you are well aware, most leaders make decisions based on gut instinct and a combination of data. If the data can tell a story, if the data can help you better predict, there’s a lot of potential here.

I view these as three macro veers, and then if one was to add to that, I would say cybersecurity has never been more important than it is today. I’ve been around cyber for over two decades, and precisely the importance and importance and priority has never been more important than today. So that’s various kinds of another key area.

I want to dive into your first list, digital conversion. This is a phrase that I feel like I’ve heard for a decade now, with “Data is the new oil” and all these sorts of buzzwords and marketing utterances. “Wheres” we in that process? Are we at the beginning? Are we at the end? What’s next from a startup perspective?

Due to COVID-1 9 and because of the mode beings are working today, digital’s become the primary medium. I would still say we’re early, and you can literally examine sector by sphere to see how much more work there is to do here.

Take enterprise auctions itself, which is early in what I consider digitalization. It’s even more important today than it was a year ago. I’m applying video to mostly communicate, and then the next piece would mostly be trialing of software. Can I accept even complex software to be self tests and can I measure the customer journey through that test? Then there’s the contracting of the software, and we go to the sale process, can all that be done digitally?

So even when you take something as very mundane as project auctions, it’s being transformed. Winning teams, triumphing application entrepreneurs, they understand this well, and they’d be wise to examine every step of this process, and instrument it and digitize it.

Vertical versus horizontal plays in enterprise

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