When Jonathan Carr first walked through the doors of the Stryker plant in Arroyo, Puerto Rico, the boyish newbie accountant no doubt turned the heads of a few managers.
Having finished college only about 18 months earlier, Carr was now the accounting and finance “lead” for a major software implementation under way at the medical device manufacturer’s Puerto Rican plant.Read More
To succeed in his new role, Carr would need to have local managers as well as senior IT executives walk him through the manufacturing plant’s transaction processes so that he could understand how the software’s promise of automation could be leveraged to streamline the plant’s accounting close cycle.
Looking back, Carr can see that it was his inexperience at the time that made the assignment so enriching to his early career.
“You have to find things that you have absolutely no idea how to do because it’s those things that will help you to grow exponentially,” remarks Carr, who credits his boss at the time, a Stryker divisional controller, for instilling a risk-taking career mindset.
Recalls Carr: “One of his biggest pieces of advice to me was to find opportunities that would either get me promoted or get me fired.”
After more than 5 years at Stryker, Carr began to think about finance career opportunities inside high tech, a sector widely populated by growth companies that could help him to move beyond manufacturing’s hyperfocus on cost accounting.
The SaaS software company Survey Monkey soon captured Carr’s attention.
“At the time, Survey Monkey’s FP&A team wasn’t built out and the company was still at less than $100 million in revenue, so here was this opportunity to start thinking about how to take an organization that was growing organically and add strategic levers to it,” comments Carr, who would serve as head of FP&A not only at Survey Monkey but also at yet one other tech firm before stepping into the CFO office at Armis in 2020.
Asked about the “deep end of the pool”—or the Stryker plant that he had entered with only 18 months of experience—Carr tell us: “These are the types of opportunities that as a leader I think are so important to now provide to my own team.” –Jack Sweeney
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CFOTL: Tell us about Armis … what does this company do, and what are its offerings today?
Carr: Armis is in the cybersecurity space. This industry, of course, can be very fragmented, but I think that what we’re doing is rather unique. You could think of it as almost akin to a lot of traditional endpoint security, except that we approach everything in a completely agentless way. For example, in the manufacturing world or in healthcare, you might have a lot of devices or assets on your network that can’t host a software agent, and this is where we really come into play.Read More
We give you complete visibility into everything that’s on your network. In the environments in which we’re operating today, maybe only 5% to 6% of the things on a network can actually house an agent. The simplest way to understand Armis is effectively to think about us as the Google Maps of your enterprise network. Whenever you want to see where any piece of contextual information is—say, the OS that’s running, the last time it was patched, and so on—we give you that ability. We help to bring order to existing telemetry or things like CMBDs when you’re trying to get the lay of the land of the things on your network but find that it’s messy and there are duplicates. We help you to bring order to this kind of enterprise network challenge so that you can really focus on the things that are going to matter in cybersecurity.
In the midst of this environment where everyone is certainly more focused on Rule 40 profitability, I’m still a big believer in growth as a key priority. I’ve seen this in multiples today and heard it as I’ve talked to investors. I’m putting a lot more emphasis on growth, on the story behind the growth, and on proving out the ROI for every part of the investment profile. So much of our company’s success will really depend on telling our complete story and really understanding what we’re doing with every dollar that we’re putting into R&D. We may be launching something organically or taking care of the tech debt that enables it, but whatever the case may be, we need to be able to clearly articulate what we’re investing in and whether we are delivering it. OK, so next year, here’s what we’re investing in. And then we deliver it. These are the things that are going to build trust and that are going to be required for us to continue to be successful. This is really where my focus is going to be over the next 12 months.
“Build relationships, get exposure to multiple perspectives, learn the disciplines outside of finance, and gain an investor’s mindset as early in your career as possible. Influence is often achieved by making others successful on their terms while ensuring you are delivering the financial results that are required.” – Jonathan Carr, CFO Armis
Armis | www.armis.com | San Francisco, CA