2016 Tech Impact Awards: Enterprise

Winner: Chef Software; Silver Award: Qumulo

Chef Software
Location: Seattle | Employees: 250
Odds are good that the Facebook or Amazon page you refresh isn’t the same website it was moments ago. In today’s world of high-velocity iteration, software changes on major sites are deployed as fast as every eight seconds. As Chef Software CEO Barry Crist explains, “Everything you as a customer touch is always iterating and improving.” Chef Software’s recently released Automate suite helps companies like Disney, Alaska Airlines, GE and Nordstrom manage their developer operations (DevOps) the same way, borrowing modern practices for ongoing innovation and efficiency. Enterprise IT departments, Crist says, have become significant software factories of their own, and are a weapon in the competitive world of tech. Using an open-source model, Chef’s DevOps automation software now manages tens of millions of machines, including those at more than half of the Fortune 50. The company nearly doubled its revenues last year, with 94 percent year-over-year growth. What Chef ultimately enables, Crist notes, is a future in which information services are the place where ideas are sifted out for use “so there’s no difference between business and IT.”

Location: Seattle | Employees: 138
Not everything stored in the massive cloud is equal, even to its owners, who may use some of it every day and the rest rarely. That insight, from engineers formerly at network-attached-storage maker Isilon, became Qumulo Core, a “data-aware” storage device solution that helps manage ballooning volumes of data. Real-time data analytics built directly into storage provides IT managers a view into what data are most valuable, which applications are using it, and what can be archived or purged. The scalable solution helps make the cloud more efficient even as it swells.



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