People

Unlocking the Power of Tech at the Federal Level with Erin Hawley

Oct 25,2021

We’re thrilled to welcome Erin Hawley, an executive with over 25 years of experience leading complex business opportunities in the federal market, to Instabase, where she’ll leverage her deep knowledge in emerging technologies and relationships to expand our global footprint. In this spotlight, we’ll highlight Erin’s background, journey to Instabase, and her vision for the future of federal agency adoption.

About Erin: 

Erin is a Washington, DC native who began her career in engineering at Sun Microsystems. Since then, she has tackled business strategy at small and Fortune 500 enterprise companies in roles ranging from technical to marketing to ultimately sales and management, where she has spent the duration of her career. She thrives on developing innovative business strategies to advance start-ups – especially in the public sector – including Composite Software (Cisco acquired), Cloudera, and most recently, DataRobot, where she led its entry into the public sector in 2016 and served as its first and only female General Manager & Vice President.

Erin is a big advocate for empowering women in technology and volunteers extensively as a mentor to those serving private and public sector organizations. She is passionate about ensuring all underrepresented groups, regardless of sex, race and background, have an equal opportunity to rise through the ranks as leaders and looks forward to the opportunity at Instabase to build her team with this personal commitment as a focal point.

How does the federal market benefit from technology? 

I realized early on that I could help transform the federal community that is still mired in legacy and antiquated processes by combining leading-edge technology and a relentless commitment to customer success. After spending time supporting the public sector and encountering these obsolete systems and outdated acquisition strategies, I became well-versed in the long-standing barriers that prevent federal agencies from unlocking the power of emerging technologies in the way that private companies do. We are a country with the most brilliant minds developing these capabilities, yet many agencies still do business by throwing many people at a problem as though “innovation” or “commercial technology adoption” are not allowed in their vocabulary. It needs to change and is why I’m still, after all these years, more bullish and excited than ever to educate Capitol Hill and our senior leadership at these various agencies to help them transform and modernize into the 21st century.

Just like the private sector, the federal government has the opportunity to replace outdated technologies and remove the obsolete manual processes that no longer serve the American people. We are sitting on the largest federal IT budget in history yet that does not mean we should spend more and receive less. Throwing people at the problem is not the answer when there are commercially available products and services that will drive greater efficiencies that save time, taxpayer dollars, and keep the threat from the technological advances of our adversaries at bay. 

How did these insights lead you to Instabase?

Everyone I spoke to from investors to current customers talked about the power of the company’s culture, the team, and of course, the technology that is screaming with new innovation and advances every day. Right now, we are only at the beginning of what this platform can and will deliver. Today, we help commercial organizations with very complex document and data challenges. Federal agencies have legacy providers that only support structured data, which represents just 20% of all data. The other 80% of data, which is unstructured and more complex, remains trapped; a pivotal constraint in delivering end-to-end digital transformation at the same speed we expect in our commercial enterprises. 

But what’s even more exciting is what’s on the horizon as we focus on building a horizontally scalable application development platform that will allow these risk averse agencies the ability to rapidly build end to end applications in weeks and months, not years. The days of a single system taking 5 years to build, only to be obsolete when it finally (if ever) finishes, should hopefully be the end of fraud, waste and abuse inside our federal acquisition channels. 

What makes you excited about the future of Instabase?

Think of your iPhone or Android device and how you can find an application for almost every imaginable thing you need to live your life, and now get ready to watch as Instabase does the exact same thing for our enterprises and now federal agencies. The possibilities are limitless and the use cases so far reaching it’s truly an unbelievable time to be a part of it.

For me, it will be especially rewarding to see agencies leverage our technology, our partners, and our focus on their success to free up capacity for their leaders and analysts to address really critical concerns and the most pressing national issues instead of how they have had to operate in the past. Driving this value and success for federal agencies is a mission that I look forward to helping Instabase accomplish. 

What’s Next?

Establishing a presence in Washington, DC is critical to our success. So, the first step will be to scale the team to cover the federal landscape, providing education and thought-leadership in the art of the possible, and working with our partner ecosystem that is expanding significantly who share our unwavering passion for leveraging and delivering highly scalable, next-generation technology to solve the toughest challenges our agencies face. And it all starts today!