Doug Merritt, the CEO of Splunk, tells Insider about partnering with Microsoft and navigating a tough transition to cloud.

  • Big data firm Splunk is emerging from bumps in its cloud transition, CEO Doug Merritt tells Insider.
  • After first building on Amazon’s cloud, it now works with Google and, soon, with Microsoft.
  • Its growth strategy hinges on plans to go after more government deals and win over legacy companies. See more stories on Insider’s business page.

    Born a data analytics company in the world of private data centers in 2003, before the rise of cloud computing, Splunk was one of the first to catch onto the importance of and opportunity in big data.

    The company helps IT professionals sift through and analyze enormous amounts of performance and system data in their networks, and later found that its product was a key tool for security professionals, who needed monitoring and visibility into their companies’ infrastructure.

    CEO Doug Merritt has been charged with Splunk’s aggressive transition to cloud since taking on the role six years ago. Merritt’s background is in enterprise software – he led products and solutions marketing at Cisco, and held executive roles at SAP and PeopleSoft, which was bought by Oracle.

    In an interview with Insider, he acknowledged Splunk was “behind the curve” when it came to moving from on-premise to the cloud, but a year ago, became a “fully cloud-first” company – with a cyber liability engineering team, a cloud ops team, and regularly-updated cloud products.

    Now valued around $22 billion, Splunk went all-in on Amazon Web Services as part of its cloud transition, both in terms of supporting Amazon’s cloud customers and in building its own products on the retail giant’s cloud platform. Last year, it announced a partnership with Google Cloud, and Merritt says Microsoft Azure is next.

    But the road to cloud hasn’t been easy – since Splunk went public in 2012, its ups and downs have all been in the public eye. While the pandemic

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