More than a year after WalkMe’s amazing and fun post-IPO festivities in Israel, this week I celebrated in California with the U.S. team. The much-anticipated, Covid-delayed event was well worth the wait. Taking the company public last year was such an incredible milestone, and I’m so happy to finally have had the chance to continue the celebration. Not only was it a great reminder of the massive goal we collectively achieved as a team, but it was a chance to reflect.
I remember in 2018 when WalkMe achieved unicorn status. Though unicorns are fictitious creatures, tech unicorns are real, and we became part of the “blessing” (fun fact: a group of unicorns is called a blessing). We soon joined the likes of other 10+-year-old Israeli-founded companies that happen to also be led by founder-CEOs (a large percentage, by the way). For example, Check Point Software, Wix, Monday.com, Fiverr, Gong, SimilarWeb, JFrog, and Redis Labs. We knew we were approaching the last mile before going public.
Embarking on the IPO process was such a unique and rewarding experience. One of the biggest takeaways that really stands out in my mind was how integral and crucial our customers and their stories were in the whole process. It’s one thing for us to talk about the value that WalkMe brings to our customers, but it’s an entirely different story when our customers tell it based on their experiences from the front lines. Hands down, our customers are the heroes of the WalkMe story. They are the innovators that are driving digital strategies forward and focusing on new ways of work. We are so thankful for the trust they’ve put in us and the industry’s first digital adoption platform (DAP).
This year marks the 10-year anniversary of when WalkMe introduced DAP to the world. What started off a decade ago as a “nice to have” evolved to a “need to have it” today, thanks to the continued investment in digital transformation projects and the ROI from digital adoption. We’ve also seen a steady increase in DAP coverage across analyst firms: as of Q1 2022, Gartner, Forrester, and IDC all officially cover the DAP category with evaluative reports expected in 2022-2023. After more than a dozen patents, 2,000+ customers, and an initial public offering, we are seeing “digital adoption” carved out within budgets for digital transformation projects. In fact, we recently surveyed nearly 1,500 IT leaders who stated they planned to spend an average of $30+ million on digital adoption over the next three years. The momentum is real.
Why did it take 10 years? Just like any other enterprise software company, it starts with a need, then a vision, then it slowly builds from there: getting the right advisors, securing funding, building the team, winning customers, etc. But the biggest variable is the market–is the market ready?
We live in an era when digital transformation continues to be prioritized and technology adoption is the gatekeeper to those projects’ success. Over time, enterprises came to realize that their digital projects were at risk if they couldn't better embed those technologies into their businesses. It’s as simple as that. Digital transformation and digital adoption grew to have a hand-in-glove relationship that more and more organizations are recognizing.
When I am asked what my proudest achievement is, many assume it is taking WalkMe public, or it is creating a new technology category. Though those are both very important, my proudest accomplishment is the creation of an entirely new profession: the DAP professional.
This does not just count WalkMe’s 1,200+ employees around the world. The successful creation of the DAP market category has given rise to a new line of work for the “DAP Professional.” DAP Professionals work behind the scenes to enable the adoption of new technologies as part of their organization's overall digital transformation strategy, ensuring the success of their companies' digital investments.
Since 2021, there has been a 40% increase in LinkedIn profiles that state “WalkMe admin” within individuals’ professional experience – growing to just over 4,600 (non-WalkMe employees). Individuals are recognizing it as a career opportunity and enterprises are recognizing it as a winning strategy for digital transformation success.
As our first 10-year milestone begins to slowly fade in the rear-view mirror, looking ahead, what do the next 10 years look like for WalkMe? While the entire world continues to experience different degrees of economic uncertainty, a few things are certain for WalkMe: we will continue to innovate, invest in our employees and partners, and maintain a maniacal focus on our customers’ success. And it will certainly be another amazing journey.
Written by Dan Adika, CEO, and co-founder, WalkMe