Jamf CEO talks talent, supply chain, and economic uncertainty

Is it tough finding top tech talent? Absolutely, says Jamf CEO Dean Hager.
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Apple

· 4 min read

Jamf, a provider of management and security for Apple devices, allows admins to push profiles, apps, and settings to an enterprise’s fleet of machines—as long as Apple suppliers are producing those machines, of course.

When the Covid restrictions hit the Shanghai corridor in April, Tim Cook told attendees in a summertime Q3 earnings call, Apple lost the primary source of supply for Mac units.

“It was a very big impact to the Mac business,” Cook said at the time.

During Jamf’s August earnings call—an event that recognized a number of second-quarter achievements, including 67,000 active customers and $466 million in annual recurring revenue year over year—execs also noted obstacles to growth, like hardware shortages.

“Apple recently stated their device supply constraints have continued and are particularly acute for Mac and iPad. These factors, along with continued macroeconomic uncertainty caused us to be more cautious with our outlook,” said Jamf CFO Jill Putman.

That outlook for the third quarter of 2022, however, is still cautiously optimistic: a total revenue in the range of $121.5 million to $122.5 million representing growth of 27% to 28% year over year.

“As you look at everything that everybody is dealing with, whether it be supply, or the war on talent, or the macroeconomic uncertainties, all of those things are counterbalanced with increasing demand and need,” said CEO Dean Hager during the August earnings call.

Hager spoke with IT Brew about those three things that everybody’s dealing with: supply, talent, and uncertainty.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Is it challenging to hire top tech talent today?

Dean Hager: Oh, yeah, absolutely. You have to be the type of employer that the top tap talent is looking for today…And so when the pandemic broke out, and we had to go home, I almost immediately announced to employees that forevermore, we were going to offer our offices as a service…That allows us to recruit from everywhere, that allows us to be very flexible [for] work-life balance and allows us to create a work environment that a lot of that top tech talent wants to exist in.

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What skills do you think are most in demand?

Coding, certainly. Cybersecurity, certainly. Those are going to be two of your top-notch skills. And then of course, over on the go-to-market side, you have a fair challenge there as well: bringing in the salespeople at the rate that you want to bring them in.

How has the recession impacted your business?

Well, it’s arguable whether we’re in a recession right now. I think, officially, the United States has had two quarters of back-to-back of negative GDP. But on the flip side, we have 3.5% unemployment. So everybody seems a little confused about whether there is a recession or not.

And I think confusion has a way of having the organization say, “I’m going to buy what I need today, but I might not buy what I think I’m going to need next year, just because there’s an unknown.”

What supply chain challenges have you had?

So the question I think that you’re asking is, “Do Apple’s supply constraints bleed over into our business at all?” I would say, you know, it’s spotty. Generally speaking, when Jamf wins a new customer, it’s to manage and secure the devices they already have. And then they grow from there.

But for instance, some schools that are going to deploy a new program for a specific grade— I’ve heard some instances where those schools were not able to get some of the devices they needed in time. And as a result, maybe a couple of wins with new customers might be delayed a bit while that supply comes in. But if we’re performing as we did in Q2 at 34% revenue growth, in a supply constrained world, I’m so looking forward to when we’re not supply constrained anymore.—BH

Do you work in IT or have information about your IT department you want to share? Email [email protected] or DM @BillyHurls on Twitter.

Top insights for IT pros

From cybersecurity and big data to software development and gaming. Our IT Brew newsletter delivers the latest news and analysis of trends shaping the IT industry, like only The Brew can.