Welcome back to the latest edition of Inside Looking Out. We had the opportunity to sit down at the Las Vegas airport with Todd Delaughter, CEO of Mformation after he participated in a Mobile Device Management session at Interop. We covered a broad range of topics, including mobile device management, tablets, ITSM and more. You can check it out below.
The Enterprise Mobility Foundation: Hi Todd. Welcome to Inside Looking Out. Mobile device management is often used as an umbrella term. How do you define MDM and how is it different in your mind from enterprise mobility management?
Todd DeLaughter: Thanks for having me here. Yes, the two are different. MDM is focused on the device itself, the inventory, the settings, the firmware updates, locking and wiping. Not a small challenge with thousands of mobile device types out there. The complexity is enormous just around the MDM piece. However, enterprise mobility management as I view the problem is much wider. It involves managing and securing the end to end lifecycle of the mobile device, the applications and the data accessed by the device. No single vendor does everything and the lines blur between solutions so just do your homework.
EMF: Smartphones have seen a tremendous level of commoditization in the last couple of years….which we see in the proliferation of individually liable device space. Are we going to see the same thing with tablets?
TD: The price points are definitely coming down as volume and competition rises. But neither smartphones nor tablets will become commodity items in the true sense of the word for years to come. As I work with smartphone, tablet and mobile OS vendors, the innovation engine is churning at high RPMs and the desire to differentiate between the people competing in this space is huge. You will see a similar dynamic with tablets with regard to individually liable. The debate over individually liable and corporate liable devices will ebb and flow for the next few years so as an enterprise mobility vendor, the key will be to focus on providing the enabling technology to give Managed Service Providers, Carriers and IT organizations the option to manage and secure these devices as they see fit.
EMF: So if we’re going to trend towards a hybrid IL/CL model….what does that look like?
TD: I think hybrid IL/CL will be one of the models and perhaps the more complex to manage around but there will be IT shops that do pure IL or pure CL as well. It is an interesting debate because you may have employees with two or more devices, a corporate smartphone and a personal tablet, wanting both on the corporate network. Any permutation on models is possible because it is a complex problem and we have to let the market take its course. This is all playing out in real-time so my comments may be obsolete by the time we finish our glass of wine!
EMF: We often talk about how mobility is still a nascent market in the workplace. When does the market mature and what does that look like?
TD. It matures in 3-5 yrs. The carrier MDM market took a similar path to maturity. Similar characteristics are playing out: devices show up, a realization that you are ill-equipped to manage them with current tools, a rush to get basic capabilities in place to cover the biggest perceived issues, a churn as initially purchased solutions prove to be skin deep (demo GUI deep as I like to say), slow adoption because of on-boarding difficulty and finally lack of robust integration capability.
No vendor has the answer to all problems in this space today and you will see continued build out and consolidation over the next couple of years. From a customer perspective, when you have a single throat to choke in IT for enterprise mobility management, you will see real progress in the adoption of enterprise mobility solutions. We are a long way off from this although I was surprised today at Interop in Las Vegas to see how many IT professionals said their companies had enterprise mobility policies and processes. The gap is in how many are actually implemented and how well the tools support the processes.
EMF: How does this model play out in terms of how companies should then be thinking about buying mobility management solutions? Is this just another SaaS-styled subscription service?
TD: Good question. This also will follow a maturity model where today much of the enterprise purchase of mobility management software is for behind the firewall but this is changing as we speak. There is no doubt in my mind that enterprise mobility management is best served as a service. Time to market for new capabilities improves with SaaS offerings, all of the background complexity of the telecom world is masked and delivery of the service can be priced in an Opex model that fits the business needs. The customer preference data suggests this is how IT would want to buy mobility management. You will see vendor after vendor coming forward with a hosted offering of some kind over the next 12-18 months.
EMF: Speaking of maturity….we often talk at EMF about maturing to an IT Service Management mindset for mobility. What’s your take on ITSM for mobility?
TD: At the end of the day, it should all be about IT service management and not the “things” that comprise the service. The focus on the “thing” today is just an artifact of our lack of maturity at the moment. The best solution drops into an ITSM framework that allows an enterprise help desk to reach out to a mobility managed service provider, perform the management operations and report back the results, all in a compliant and secure service delivery framework. When MDM is delivered within an ITSM framework, it puts mobility closer to Business as Usual, which is a big relief for the Enterprise. The decision for an MSP to host an MDM component next to their other offerings is a very good one and will assist in the maturity of Mobility, taking out the complexity for the Enterprise at the same time.
EMF: What’s your “net net” recommendation to a CEO as s/he thinks about mobility in their workplace?
- First, remember the Gulf spill oil company and the lost notebook with personal claim data if you need to energize yourself or your management team around mobility management.
- Second, get the highest level hands-on executive sponsor you can to drive an Enterprise Mobility Strategy and make him or her accountable.
- Third, collaborate with every pocket of Mobile end users within the enterprise. If everyone feels they were involved with the strategy it’s easier to deploy and manage thereafter.
- Finally, consider running CL and IL/BYOD trials in parallel and see what works best for you and your employees. Empowering employees by allowing choice drives productivity provided you can enforce Enterprise Mobility Management policies to protect your business.
Well there you have it. Thanks Todd, for taking the time to chat with us about your views on enterprise mobility. Do you know anyone who should be a guest here on Inside Looking Out? Drop us a line.