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Okta Oktane22: CEO Todd McKinnon In ‘Battle’ Over Cloud Vendor Lock In

Wade Tyler Millward

‘The battle now is between monolithic platforms that want to lock you in, or an innovative, open ecosystem that enables choice,’ Okta CEO Todd McKinnon says.

Okta CEO Todd McKinnon used his keynote address at his company’s annual conference to illustrate a battle in the world of cloud and security between the technology giants such as Microsoft and Oracle who sell suites of products and an ecosystem of smaller, highly integrated best-of-breed vendors.

Along with unveiling innovations in San Francisco-based Okta’s identity and access management (IAM) portfolio, McKinnon told Oktane22 attendees that he eventually wants software developers to use the Okta Integration Network (OIN) to gauge enterprise readiness and build better applications.

“The battle now is between monolithic platforms that want to lock you in, or an innovative, open ecosystem that enables choice,” McKinnon said.

He continued: “There are two different worldviews here. There’s the monolithic platform view that believes that lock-in is the only way to achieve integration and security versus a belief in an open ecosystem. And the future of the Okta Integration Network is a key to enabling this open ecosystem without compromising one iota, one morsel on choice or security.”

[RELATED: Okta Plans Improved Partner Program In 2023]

Along with advocating for more cooperation with Okta, McKinnon used his address at the 10th Oktane to paint his company as resistant to an uncertain economy because companies continue to adopt cloud computing, security tools and digital transformation.

“These three trends, they are our friends,” McKinnon said. “They will help us prosper in these times.”

He also unveiled the Customer Identity Cloud, a service built on technology from recent Okta acquisition Auth0 and meant for managing business customer authentication for software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications and improving customer registration and login on any device, stack or platform.

Customer Identity Cloud is available with capabilities for consumer applications coming by the end of the second quarter, according to the company.

McKinnon also detailed updates to the Okta Workforce Identity Cloud. Enhanced security checks for unmanaged devices and workflows security templates are generally available. Passkey management is in early access. Workflows connector builder and Okta FastPass with enhanced phishing resistance factors will be generally available in the first quarter, according to the company.

Okta identity governance is generally available in North America with global availability planned before the end of the year. Okta privileged access will enter early access in the second quarter and become generally available in the fourth quarter of 2023, according to the company.

In detailing the Workforce Identity Cloud, McKinnon brought up a cyberattack his company faced earlier this year by Lapsus$, calling the attack “limited.” Okta’s response to the attack received criticism at the time.

“Earlier this year, I’m sure you remember, we had a security incident,” he said. “And while the technical impact of this was limited, we took this very seriously. And this drove massive change at our company. … We made a ton of changes to processes and communication. Some of the most interesting changes were around the product – product enhancements that help support managing a third party and their technology as if it were your own.”

Here’s what else McKinnon had to say.

Wade Tyler Millward

Wade Tyler Millward is an associate editor covering cloud computing and the channel partner programs of Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, Salesforce, Citrix and other cloud vendors. He can be reached at

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