AiThority Interview With Steve Webber, Chief Financial Officer at Quick Base
Tell us about your role at Quick Base and how you arrived here.
One thing that really stood out about Quick Base was the opportunity and potential for growth within the market. Gartner has predicted that over 60% of application development activity will be by low code by 2024. Low-code/No-code is a very hot space. It is fast growing as organizations seek out fresh solutions to increase their operational agility and address changing business conditions. Quick Base stands out in the industry due to its tenure as one of the oldest, most established low code providers with a platform that’s already used by 80% of the Fortune 50. My main priority is to help usher in additional growth and accelerate our business development.
Hear it from the pro: What’s so different about being a CFO for a SaaS company than other industries?
From a CFO perspective, a SaaS company has a predictable financial model. Our main priority can be on our customers. We can focus our investments on winning new customers, as well as investing in retaining and growing existing customers as we expand the value of our platform to support their business needs. Staying focused on key SaaS operating metrics allows the outcomes in the P&L, balance sheet and cash flow to be more predictable. As a CFO, this allows you to be more operational and can be a great opportunity to get closer to the customer.
Tell us about the role of a CFO in a pandemic crisis – what makes you an enabler of digital transformation in such a scenario?
I’m in a unique position because the Quick Base technology is uniquely qualified to help organizations improve their digital transformation experience. We recently did a study with Harvard Business Review that found over 55% of organizations say that increased productivity and efficiency are the primary goals of their transformation efforts. We do this by helping organizations build the tools that allow them to be more productive and update their unique processes. Whether it’s helping organizations build applications to better allocate technology and resources, or determining who is going into the office and when, we are on the ground helping them figure out what processes and systems can work remotely and giving line-of-business users the tools they need to create and maintain these solutions. We have nearly 500 different customers that have created over 1,200 apps in relation to COVID-19 alone, and our latest research with Harvard Business Review supports the idea that leading companies have to embrace a dual-track approach to digital transformation at both the enterprise and business workflow level to improve both their resiliency and agility for transformation success.
How much has the Application Development industry evolved in the last 2-3 years with the arrival of Auto ML and AIOps techniques?
In the last few years, we have seen such a huge market adoption of low-code application development. Four years ago, many had no idea what low-code really was. Now, we’re seeing more CIOs really thinking about low-code/no-code and considering it for an increasing number of use cases. This is only going to continue to grow. As companies work to achieve agility within the organization, they need solutions now. So the expectations placed on developers will be higher, but they’ll have new tools to speed up application delivery from a matter of months to days and weeks. The speed in which we’re able to do things has been a huge evolution for the industry.
What does your remote workplace technology suite look like- could you tell us about the platforms / tools you use to stay connected with your business colleagues –
We’re lucky to work for a company in which we can use our product to do our jobs, and we have Quick Base applications in place to help specific people do their jobs. But we also use more traditional remote collaboration tools like Office 365 to allow us to work within the cloud and share documents easily, and like many companies, we are using Zoom and Slack to create a collaborative workforce. Many of these tools were already in place before COVID hit, so the transition to remote work has been fairly seamless.
3 optimistic predictions / trends you have for your industry for accelerating business development and revenue performance.
The three trends I’m most optimistic about include:
– The need for agility will only increase as companies reorient themselves and their business goals. It has been a turbulent year, and almost every business has been forced to fundamentally change how it operates and adjust its transformation priorities. Organizations need solutions that are repeatable and scalable. While a lot of these large-scale digital transformation changes were already in the works, COVID-19 has accelerated the need for them. Likewise, the need for operational agility within the organization has become an imperative. The world is going to continue to change, and organizations need to be well-positioned to weather these changes.
– Companies will need to consolidate the number of platforms/software they use to cut costs and simplify processes. Organizations need to be able to move quickly in the current business climate, and the speed in which organizations see results is going to continue to be a priority. There are some legacy systems that need to remain in place but having affordable, effective tools that allow companies to connect these systems as part of their digital transformation will be key.
– Over half of all applications will be developed through low-code. With so few skilled developers and a backlog of enterprise IT projects, there is so much potential in the future for the low-code industry to continue to grow and for organizations to achieve their digital transformation goals. This is huge, and we’re so excited to see how the industry itself grows and solidifies Quick Base as a leader helping organizations achieve their goals through our platform.
Tag a colleague or a person from the industry you know who you would like to feature here:
CFO of Ping Identity, Raj Dani
Thank you, Steve! That was fun and we hope to see you back on AiThority.com soon.
Steve Webber brings more than 25 years of financial management and executive leadership experience to this role, where he will oversee financial planning and analysis, controllership and business partnering. Before joining Quick Base, he held a number of financial and operations leadership roles with technology companies, both public and private, and has a proven track record driving growth. Most recently, he served as CFO of Carbon Black, a cybersecurity company that develops cloud-native endpoint security software. He also worked as chief operating officer and CFO at Syniti (formally BackOffice Associates) and CFO at Cynosure. Prior to those roles,
Webber had a 19-year tenure at EMC Corporation, where he served as senior vice president and CFO of Virtustream, a $450 million stand-alone SaaS subsidiary. Webber’s extensive SaaS experience will help usher Quick Base into the next phase of becoming the leading company in the market.
Quick Base is the platform that businesses use to quickly turn ideas about better ways to work into apps that make them more efficient, informed and productive.