I recently spent a couple of months on mobility roadshows, and while the purpose was evangelism, I quickly realized I was learning a lot of important things about what’s on our customers’ minds. Here are my top three takeaways.
1. Customers get breadth. The level of interest in BYOD is impressive, and customers are pretty savvy that BYOD means they can’t take the simplistic approach toward device management that worked for corporate-owned devices. They understand (and feel the pain around) the need for a broad solution that incorporates mobile device management (MDM), mobile applications management (MAM), mobile content management (MCM), a secure enterprise workspace, user self-service and real-time compliance reporting. They also need a solution that provides a wide range of security features including secure remote access, encryption and policy management, data loss protection (DLP) remote wipe and identity and access management (IAM).
2. Customers need help. The most frequently asked questions were about where to start. What are the best practices? How can I keep up with the incredible rapidity of change—all the new vendors and acquisitions, devices and operating systems, demands by employees and the pressure-cooker regulatory environment? How can you insulate me from the chaos, while letting me offer services I need to keep users secure and productive?
Customers understand that the mobility transformation is trickier than many other IT initiatives. This is because it cuts across their domain—hardware, software, databases, networking, remote access—and involves the entire organization—IT, HR, legal, compliance and especially users, whose needs vary widely across the organization. It’s not simply a technology initiative; it’s a business initiative. Customers also understand that if their BYOD implementation isn’t secure and compliant, it will fail. And if it isn’t easy to use, users will find another way, leading to shadow IT. This is why we’ve seen tremendous interest in professional services that can deliver a broad, enterprise-wide perspective and best practices in a variety of areas.
3. Security: It’s the data. Security continues to be top-of-mind, but the approach is changing. It used to be sufficient to make a device secure—or at least try to—with traditional lock-down strategies such as full device management. But now, as customers better understand the leap from the desktop to the application-based secure workspace, they recognize it’s much more about securing the data and accessing it remotely. The device doesn’t matter, especially with BYOD, and apps are just a way to get at data. The focus now is on securing the data, either while it’s sitting on a device or in transit. It also means ensuring secure remote access by asking the five fundamental questions my colleague Jason Moody described in his recent post.
While customers are still at varying points along the continuum of the mobile transformation to BYOD, it’s encouraging to hear the degree to which IT understands the scope of the challenges and is willing to involve other departments and professional services to get it right.