In Lew Cirne's view, all companies are now software companies and understanding how your software is treating your customers is key to business success. Cirne is the founder and CEO of New Relic, a cloud-based provider of application management tools. In this CEO Interview Series conversation with IDG Chief Content Officer John Gallant, Cirne explained how New Relic gets IT and business execs on the same page in improving operations and customer experience, and he described the company's new tools for keeping highly virtualized private and public infrastructure in synch. He also talked about a 'unique' pricing scheme that recognizes the dynamic nature of computing today, and outlined why existing management tool vendors have a long way to go to catch up with New Relic.
What hard problems do you solve for customers in this cloud world?
The primary thing driving cloud is that businesses are becoming software businesses. Software is becoming the lifeblood of companies. One of our larger customers is GE, which is well known and advertising itself as becoming a software business. We also feel that digital is different from traditional software. It is a team sport that involves not only developers and traditional IT but also DevOps and, increasingly, business people. They all need a first, best place to look to understand everything about their software: How customers are using that software, what is the customer experience and what is the customer activity in that software that drives business outcomes? If all of these stakeholders are on the same page, using the same platform to watch their software in real time, that turns into digital success and business success. At New Relic, our mission is to be the first, best place to look to understand your digital business and we do that for 14,000 customers today.
New Relic uses the phrase 'full stack visibility.' I want to understand exactly what that means for customers.
The application stack has changed dramatically, particularly in the last five years, as customers have moved from monolithic applications running predominately in Java or .NET to multiple programming languages running in containers, often in the cloud, and many microservices. The stack has changed and gotten a lot more complex and dynamic. We see containers that have lifespans of minutes in production where, historically, servers would run for years and the same process would run for months. We have more dynamic and interconnected application environments. It's more important than ever to capture everything about what’s going on in the software and the related infrastructure in real time and then to be able to make sense of it in a way that allows people to quickly understand whether there are health problems in that software and, if so, how to diagnose them. Beyond that, helping them understand the customer experience.
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