In the coming weeks Forrester has published its annual set of predictions for our major roles, industries, and research themes — more than 35 in total. These predictions for 2016 will feature our calls on how firms will execute in the Age of the Customer, a 20-year business cycle in which the most successful enterprises will reinvent themselves to systematically understand and serve increasingly powerful customers.
In 2016, the gap between customer-obsessed leaders and laggards will widen. Leaders will tackle the hard work of shifting to a customer-obsessed operating model; laggards will aimlessly push forward with flawed digital priorities and disjointed operations. It will require strong leadership to win, and we believe that in 2016 CMOs will step up to lead customer experience efforts. They face a massive challenge: Years of uncoordinated technology adoption across call centers, marketing teams, and product lines make a single view of the customer an expensive and near-impossible endeavor. As a result, in 2016 companies will be limited to fixing their customer journeys.
CMOs will have good partners, though. As they continue to break free of IT gravity and invest in business technology, CIOs will be at their sides. 2016 is the year that a new breed of customer-obsessed CIOs will become the norm. Fast-cycle strategy and governance will be more common throughout technology management and CIOs will push hard on departmental leaders to let go of their confined systems to make room for a simpler, unified, agile portfolio.
Firms without these senior leadership efforts will find themselves falling further behind in 2016, with poor customer experience ratings impacting their bottom line. Look for common symptoms of these laggards: Poorly coordinated investment in digital tools, misguided efforts to invent new C-level titles, and new products with unclear business models.
We will begin publishing our predictions for the CMO and CIO roles on November 2nd in conjunction with our Age of the Customer Executive Summit. A steady stream of predictions will follow in the days after that. In the meantime, I’m providing a sneak peek at our predictions documents by indentifying the top 10 critical success factors for winning in the age of the customer:
- Disrupt leadership: CEOs will need to consider significant changes to their leadership teams to win a customer-led, digital market; CEOs that hang on to leadership structures to simply preserve current power structures will create unnecessary risk.
- Institute a customer-obsessed operating model: Companies that shift to customer-obsessed operations will gain sustainable differentiation; those that preserve old ways of doing business will begin the slow process of failing.
- Connect culture to business success: Those that invest in culture to fuel change will gain significant speed in the market; those that avoid or defer culture investments will lose ground in the market.
- Personalize the customer experience (CX): Customers will reward companies that anticipate their individual needs and punish those that have to relearn basic information at each touchpoint.
- Implement multidiscipline CX strategies: Companies that transform operations to deliver high-value, personalized experiences will drive a wedge between themselves and laggards just executing CX tactics.
- Operate at the speed of disruptors: Leaders will animate their scale, brand, and data while operating at the speed of disruptors; laggards will continue to be surprised and play defense in the market.
- Evolve loyalty programs: Companies that find ways for customers to participate with their brand and in product design will experience new and powerful levels of affinity; companies that try to optimize existing loyalty programs will see little impact to affinity or revenue.
- Convert analytics to customer value: Leaders will use analytics as a competitive asset to deliver personalized services across human and digital touchpoints; laggards will drown in big data.
- Master digital: Companies that become experts in digital will further differentiate themselves from those that dabble in a set of digital services that merely decorate their traditional business.
- Elevate privacy as a differentiator: Leaders will extend privacy from a risk and legal consideration to a position to win customers; companies that relegate privacy as a niche consideration will play defense and face churn risk.
As you can tell we’re expecting 2016 to be another year of rapid change as firms learn to cope and respond to empowered customers and agile competitors. The decisions companies make, and how fast they act, will determine if they thrive or fail in the age of the customer.
To learn more, download Forrester guide to the Top 10 Success Factors To Determine Who Wins And Who Fails In The Age Of The Customer.
A major feature of HP’s hybrid cloud strategy is ending, as the HP public cloud will be shut down and the company will instead partner with public cloud vendors going forward.
The writing had been on the wall for the HP public cloud, and this week, the wall came crashing down.
Just 17 months after rolling out ambitious plans for the HP Helion cloud portfolio, the company scuttled one of the major tenants of its service and will shut down its public cloud early next year.
The move was first alluded to in April, when Senior Vice President Bill Hilf acknowledged the company couldn’t compete with the likes of Amazon, Microsoft and Google. But HP quickly backtracked and reaffirmed its commitment to public cloud.
Now, it appears the wavering is over.
The decision comes as no surprise, as over the past year, HP has slowly shifted investments away from the public cloud, said Jillian Freeman, senior analyst with Technology Business Research Inc., in Hampton, N.H.
“Speaking with customers, you can kind of get a sense that HP Helion, in the public cloud space, wasn’t taking off,” Freeman said. “They put so much money into it and it didn’t end up meeting expectations.”
HP wasn’t alone in trying to recreate the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS), but it is smart to back away and focus more on the areas it has had success with around hybrid and private cloud, Freeman said. It’s also probably in its best interest to make such a move before the company’s planned split.
“If they do it now, it sends a good message that they’re gearing up for the split and know exactly what they want to do,” Freeman said.
In a blog post, Hilf said the company will shut down HP Helion Public Cloud on Jan. 31, 2016. To help customers transition, HP will rely on existing relationships with AWS and Microsoft Azure, increase integration into other public clouds and help build cloud-portable applications. He also wrote that the company remains committed to hybrid infrastructure, and will “double-down on our private and managed cloud capabilities,” including HP Helion OpenStack, HP Helion CloudSystem, and services for its managed and virtual private cloud offerings.
A minor surprise
While the decision is far from shocking, it does run counter to some of the projections last spring from analyst firms that expected HP to maintain the public cloud, albeit with a smaller footprint.
HP had a strong enough converged cloud story to at least continue offering its infrastructure as a service offering, Carl Brooks, analyst with New York-based 451 Research LLC, said this week.
“I don’t see what it costs them to leave it running and I don’t see where they benefit from walking away,” Brooks said. “They could have at least rebranded it as managed cloud the same way Rackspace did.”
Their public cloud wasn’t keeping up with the big hyperscale players. You have to be really committed to playing this game.
It was ultimately the right decision by HP to shut it down and recommit to its roots and its core corporate data center buyers, said Dave Bartoletti, principal analyst for Forrester Research Inc., in Cambridge, Mass.
“Their public cloud wasn’t keeping up with the big hyperscale players,” Bartoletti said. “You have to be really committed to playing this game.”
It wasn’t a mistake to get into public cloud, but the failure came from keeping the product in beta so long and not being clear with a strategy that said why it was better, faster or cheaper than what was out there, Bartoletti said.
“The mistake from HP was that it sort of waffled for many years on what its cloud strategy is going to be,” Bartoletti said. “Amazon, Azure and Google — these companies are all-in on public cloud and their message is, ‘We want you to run your environment in the public cloud.'”
But the decision doesn’t mean HP won’t have a role in cloud, he added. The company still sells its hardware to large public providers, and helps others build and connect clouds.
“They still have a lot of paths to revenue, but their primary source is the data center and their primary relationships are with customers that run enterprise data centers,” Bartoletti said. “Even though it’s not growing as fast as public cloud, if HP narrows its focus, it can take more of a share of what corporate data centers are left.”
Android, the iPhone, and the iPad are well established in business, so it’s time to stop thinking about them as new issues
It’s conference season, and enterprise mobility remains a big draw. But I’m surprised by how, for several years now, the IT issues at these conferences haven’t changed.
Never mind that the iPhone and Android are eight years old, and the iPad is five years old, all common in today’s enterprises — they’re the same questions over and over again, with the same mix of vendor FUD and good advice from expert panelists like Benjamin Robbins, Steve Damadeo, Brian Katz, Bob Egan, Maribel Lopez, and me. The core questions have been settled for some time, yet they keep getting asked.
[ iOS vs. Android vs. BlackBerry vs. Windows Phone — find out which platform provides the security you need. | Keep up on key mobile developments and insights with the Mobile Computing newsletter. ]
In the interest of getting enterprises to move from the past to the present, so they can then focus on the future, here are the mobility questions you can stop asking. Instead, adopt them as the known best practices.
1. Do I do BYOD or COPE?
Many organizations remain obsessed with the question of supporting bring-your-own devices (BYOD) versus issuing corporate devices to which employees can add at least some personal apps and data (COPE, or corporate owned, personally enabled).
The answer is yes. Issue devices to employees for whom a smartphone or tablet is part of their required technology portfolio and pay the data charges. With employees for whom the use of personal devices enhances their business performance but is not strictly required, let them bring their own devices — meaning devices that conform to your security requirements and employees consent to your managing.
The truth is too many execs see BYOD as a way to make employees pay for business technology, so they contorted themselves to make BYOD the standard. At the same time, too many IT organizations freaked out about “alien” devices they could not control up the wazoo. Both reactions come from bad motivations, not from issues of business value.
It may be that your industry has a reason to favor BYOD over COPE, or vice versa, usually for proving your level of compliance on various regulations or for reasons of asset management. A law firm is more likely to insist that its lawyers use only corporate-owned devices to leave no doubt as to the ownership and source of control, whereas a publisher or university is likely to be more flexible about device ownership given the more porous nature of what many staff members do.
There are edge cases that might require a draconian approach: A government agency might forbid both BYOD and COPE, so as not to get bad press around employees wasting time on the job, instead issuing highly limited devices for work-only use.
This is not a technical issue but a risk-management one, with the risk being not so much about data security (your management policies should handle that issue regardless of BYOD or COPE) but about reputational risk and legal comfort.
2. Do I need EAS, MDM, MAM, or EMM?
This is the question vendors want you to ask, so you start thinking of the issue not in terms of policy but in terms of products: What do I need to protect, and which users does that affect in what circumstances? That will let you know which security and management products you need, as well as which favor employees.
Here’s the framework of how the various options address your actual needs:
Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) is the baseline security method that every company should use at a minimum. Its policies enforce the use of encryption and passwords, and it allows you to remotely lock or wipe a device that is lost or stolen. iOS 6 and later, Android 3 and later, Windows Phone 8 and later, and BlackBerry 10 support the core policies. Support varies from mobile OS to mobile OS for more discrete EAS policies, such as disabling the camera.
Mobile device management (MDM) has evolved over the years, so the top providers — such as Citrix Systems, Good Technology, MobileIron, IBM, and VMware — have long ago moved beyond managing only the device and now provide ways to manage apps and, in some cases, content. If you have legitimate needs to control which apps users can have, to manage VPN settings, to impose standard configurations, and to disable features like copy and paste or cloud access, these tools have you covered.
Be aware that their specific capabilities beyond the core differ, so you should do a deep assessment of candidates to find the best fit. All the major providers support the core APIs provided by Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, and an increasing number are supporting those in Windows Phone. Some also support Apple’s APIs for Macs (they’re based on the iOS APIs).
Where they differ is in the edge areas, like support for Apple’s content-management APIs, and in new technologies, like Google’s new Android for Work containers.
Many support additional content controls for apps that use the MDM vendors’ proprietary APIs, but that approach ties you to specific apps and MDM servers. It’s a big investment that can also limit your ability to get strong value from mobile usage.
Mobile application management (MAM) used to be a separate category of management tools to manage access to apps and their content. It’s been subsumed into MDM tools from the major providers. Unless you have an MDM tool that doesn’t offer the app management controls you need, a separate MAM tool doesn’t make a lot of sense today.
Enterprise mobility management (EMM) is a marketing term, nothing more. I call it “expensive mobility management” because the term arose from vendors seeking to convince IT pros they needed more than “simple” MDM, by offering a large portfolio of bells and whistles that are largely unnecessary but appeal to IT’s control instincts.
Focus on your needs, not the label.
3. Should I set up an internal app store?
The short answer is probably not. Yes, having an internal Web page that links to recommended iOS and Android apps from their respective app stores is a good idea. If you want to call that your app store, fine.
But running your own actual app store through an independent third-party tool is overkill. After all, you manage app distribution with the business app store that Apple provides to companies via its Volume Purchase Program (VPP), which lets you buy app licenses in bulk and manage their distribution, as well as distribute your homegrown apps. Google offers a similar capability for its Play Store, called private channel. Why reinvent the wheel?
If your goal is to configure devices used by employees (regardless of who owns them) so that specific apps are installed, updated, and managed for users in specific workgroups, you can so so via your MDM server, which use the Apple and Google APIs, respectively, to the VPP and Google Play private channel. This capability is available in the better MDM tools.
MDM tools also let you blacklist or whitelist specific apps, so you can prevent users from installing known bad apps from the public Apple and Google app stores.
4. How do I keep mobile devices from leaking my corporate data?
This question is based on a pervasive but very false premise: that smartphones and tablets are a major vector for data leakage. They are not, as you can easily see by checking the public breach report databases. Stolen laptops and misplaced USB drives are the major vectors, while mobile devices almost never show up as a breach vector.
If you fear data leakage and believe the best approach to combating it is to target the device, then you should ban Windows PCs, remove their Internet connections, or at least bind them with encryption, app management, and content management tools. PCs are where that sensitive data is, and (shock!) PCs are the devices most targeted by hackers and data thieves.
Very few organizations apply the kinds of controls to PCs that they want to apply to mobile devices, which has to make you ask if those controls are truly necessary. Also, if they are, why aren’t they on your PCs, too?
However you answer that question, it takes very little to enforce encryption and password usage — the key protections for lost or stolen mobile devices — on smartphones and tablets. Set it up in EAS or MDM policies, and you’ve all but eliminated the data loss risk from mobile devices.
But what about leakage through iCloud, OneDrive, Dropbox, Box, or Google Drive, not to mention personal email? Well, if you think that only mobile devices use these services, you’re naive. Mobile devices are one conduit among many, and clogging one pipe doesn’t stem the unwanted flow of information — it simply moves it to another pipe.
The right approach is to manage data access at the source, not the endpoint. Think access permissions first; if a person can’t be trusted on a smartphone, he or she can’t be trusted on a PC, either.
The good news about mobile: There’s real thinking going on about managing data, so mobile is pioneering safer data practices that, if we’re lucky, will find their way into PCs, too.
5. How should I protect against viruses?
Don’t use Windows PCs. That may sound flippant, but that’s the truth if you’re really concerned about malware like viruses.
Even moreso than OS X, iOS is highly immune to malware, so the number of exploits has been very small.
Android is not immune, given its Windows-like file architecture, so researchers keep finding malware targeting it (mainly from fake and adware apps in the Google Play Store and, outside the West, from non-Google app stores). Yet it appears that very little malware actually is running in the Android wilds, so the true threat — versus the potential threat — is highly exaggerated in IT and vendor discussions.
The minuscule usage of Windows Phone means that malware hasn’t targeted that platform. Ditto for BlackBerry.
There’s a theme: Vendors prey on your Windows malware experiences to suggest that everything is as threatened as the PC. It’s not. Malware should be a concern on Android, but no reason for panic.
The real issue for IT is whether Android antimalware apps actually protect you — and the answer is they are more an alerting mechanism rather than a remediation mechanism. It’s better to disable access from devices that have sideloading/rooting enabled and to focus on data access rights of Android users, to control what could be at risk to malware.
Move on to the question that really matters
The truth is that mobile devices are safer to use than PCs (just as cloud services are probably safer than your data center), so figure to how to make PCs as secure as mobile devices and how to protect data wherever it may happen to be.
Then ask the question that really matters: How do you get the most value from the use of mobile technology in your business?
Source: infoworld-5 mobile management questions you should stop asking by Galen Gruman
A Microsoft-commissioned report suggests one organisation could realise huge savings by moving from OpenOffice to Office 365. But how likely are others to see those benefits?
At first glance, the claim your business could make substantial savings by switching from free open-source software to a subscription-based service might seem unlikely.
Yet that is what a Microsoft-commissioned report argues, predicting the cloud-based productivity suite Office 365 could be almost 80 percent cheaper than relying on the open-source OpenOffice.
The claim certainly generated plenty of headlines about the benefits of moving from OpenOffice to Office 365. However, it seems that some of those savings are specific to the local authority in question, and the bulk of the cost difference between the two systems would diminish over time.
The costings were based on an an interview with the CIO at the town of Pesaro in Italy, which moved just over 500 employees to OpenOffice in 2011 but which in 2014 began work to switch to Microsoft’s Office 365.
The CIO Stefano Bruscoli estimated that some employees were losing up to 15 minutes each day to issues related to using OpenOffice. These problems included having to spend more time reviewing and formatting documents and OpenOffice’s slow speed when working with in-house systems.
Yet, according to the city of Pesaro, the number of employees losing time from their working day would fall every year after they began using OpenOffice. In the first year a maximum of 350 users would be affected, 250 in the second, 150, in the third and 50 in the fourth. From the fourth year onwards it predicted no more than 50 would be suffer this daily productivity loss.
In this projection, as the proportion of workers losing time to OpenOffice falls over time so does the cost of using OpenOffice. This diminishing cost isn’t readily apparent from the Microsoft report – which shows the same cost per user of OpenOffice in year one as in year five.
In contrast to the €530.58 cost per user for OpenOffice, the report predicts that the cost per user for Office 365 over the same period would be €111.98, which Microsoft uses to support its claim that organisations running Office 365 can save 80 percent over OpenOffice.
However, Paolo Vecchi, CEO of open source specialists Omnis Systems, points out that – rather than showing the long-term running costs of the competing systems – the study reflects costs associated with transitioning to new software, costs which diminish as the system beds in.
“For years four and five the number of users [affected] will become 50,” he said, citing the town of Pesaro’s estimates that the number of users affected by productivity losses would fall to a maximum of 50 within five years of the authority transitioning to OpenOffice.
“Even if you’re not technical you just say ‘We’ve made the effort, we went through hell, but finally we’ve done it, everything is working fine’.”
The cost of switching systems can be exacerbated when moving from Microsoft software to an open-source alternative, which Vecchi refers to as ‘breaking vendor lock-in’, but he still struggles to see how those one-time costs would reach €313,307, as stated by the town of Pesaro.
Vecchi also questioned why a council that said it had suffered an initial loss of productivity after moving to a new office suite would then impose fresh disruption on staff by moving to Office 365.
So why does the report portray the cost per user as being the same in year one as year five? Osservatorio Netics, the Italian consultancy that produced it, explained the figure of €530.38 as reflecting the average cost per user over the five years rather than over individual years.
“We chose to show an exemplar year, a model,” said a spokeswoman for the organisation.
“The calculation takes into account that the costs of the first year are higher than fifth, giving precisely an average between five [years].”
An outdated comparison?
Another issue when it comes to the cost comparison is the age of the software used by the city of Pesaro.
The town reports that OpenOffice was prone to crash when used with its in-house systems and those crashes were factored in when considering how much OpenOffice had cost the council in lost productivity.
But while moving to a more recent version could have cut crash-related losses, in 2015 the council was still using a version of OpenOffice dating from 2010 – according to metadata from its documents.
“The report once again doesn’t explain why the council had so many problems but nowadays, after four years, we see evidence that they are still using them [the same version] and they never bothered upgrading,” said Vecchi.
When asked why the council had not upgraded to a newer version of OpenOffice to try to rectify some of the problems it reportedly had, the Netics spokeswoman said: “The migration is still in progress, all users are moving to O365 [sic].”
Other features of the report stand out to Vecchi, such as the claim that it cost the council €291,000 to convert “initial files”.
The report explains this figure was so high because the council kept running Microsoft Access databases and Microsoft Excel on some systems, which in turn incurred costs related to converting Excel Macros and to using the Access database.
The council said it had to keep running this Microsoft software because of incompatibility between OpenOffice and its in-house systems.
A software developer with a proven track record at HP and Macys.com offers tips to make DevOps principles work for enterprise.
Gary Gruver was ahead of his time when, nearly a decade ago, he used DevOps principles to alleviate congestion in the software development process at one of the world’s largest printer manufacturers.
The practice known as DevOps had yet to emerge in 2007 and then was better known as agile software development.
For 20 years, the printer business at HP was being held back by its firmware; the company was not able to add a new product, new feature or capability without firmware updates. In 2007, Gruver took over HP’s software development.
He described the lessons from the journey, and later success at Macys.com — the website for Macy’s department stores — to a crowd of 30 IT pros here this week, including representatives from the financial, technology and healthcare verticals, such as State Street Corp., Citizens Bank N.A., EMC and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.
“[Firmware had] been the bottleneck for the LaserJet business for two decades,” he said. “HP had been going around the world trying to spend its way out of the problem,” he said.
By 2008, as the recession set in, he was charged with cutting his software development budget from $100 million down to $55 million.
For the longest time I didn’t know I was doing agile, I thought I was doing common sense.
president at Practical Large Scale Agile LLC
“I was looking for anything and everything I could find to get more productive,” he said.
Three years later, he had “completely re-architected” the development process and eliminated the bottleneck that had been created by firmware. He was also able to free up time for more innovation.
“Most of the organizations I work with look more like the organization I worked with before this transformation than after the transformation,” he said. “For the longest time I didn’t know I was doing agile, I thought I was doing common sense.”
Scrum does not equal agile
One of the major factors that will make a difference in productivity in a large organization — at one time, Gruver oversaw 800 developers — is to apply agile principles at the executive level.
Most organizations focus on how the teams work. Teams focus on how their individual projects work, and whether they are doing stand-ups and scrums and other “agile rituals,” such as releasing to customers on an ongoing basis.
If a large organization focuses on scrums, it will likely lose focus on agile principles.
“Scrum does not equal agile,” he said.
The classic implementation of agility in large organizations is to continue to plan 18 months into the future, as teams do rituals such as standing up software — but releases are not ongoing.
“The reason DevOps has come up as a term at all [is] because agile forgot this basic principle [of ongoing releases] as it scaled into the enterprise,” he said.
Focus on business needs
Knowing the business objectives of your organization will help create a vision and prioritize what the company will go after during its move toward DevOps. For example, at HP, Gruver wanted to eliminate the firmware bottleneck and create capacity for innovation.
“The journey will take a while,” Gruver said.
Adoption of DevOps principles needs to be coordinated across all levels, and all teams needs to agree to use the same tools, for example.
After identifying the core business needs, the move toward DevOps should include a process to prioritize the backlog. Above all, don’t forget to continue releasing to customers on an ongoing basis and get consistent feedback, he said.
“If you are working on the most important things first, releasing it to customers on an ongoing basis and you have a continuous learning process that is being led by the organization, it doesn’t have to be any harder than that,” he said.
Some event attendees plan to put these tips to use to get started with DevOps.
“We don’t really have it in my organization, I am more interested in trying to get efficiencies on our development lifecycle and get our supported applications out faster,” said Chris Flynn, a senior applications developer at Philips Lifeline, based in Framingham, Mass. He wants to automate releases and testing, because right now he sees a lot of time-consuming manual operations that are often not smooth or easy.
He hopes to implement continuous builds, and is interested in trying to get efficiencies in the development lifecycle and push supported applications out faster.
Those changes start with executive buy-in. “If you can get the executives to see the importance and benefit of it, they will give you the time to get it in there,” Flynn said.
Ramesh Subramaniam, an engineering team lead at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Inc., a health insurance provider headquartered in Boston, said the monthly releases his organization delivers are a labor-intensive process involving about 40 people. It’s also prone to human error.
“By using continuous delivery, I’m sure we can eliminate some errors,” he said.
Applications and use cases for the Internet of Things (IoT) extend into almost every major industry vertical, and is already being exploited to great benefit by enterprise firms the world over, most notably in industrial, automotive, and manufacturing industries.
Telecoms Intelligence recently ran a comprehensive survey to gain a more thorough understanding of the IoT opportunity for operators today. Just short of 1,000 respondents participated in the questionnaire, covering four comprehensive areas of concern: Information security, networking challenges, cloud and big data, and industrial IoT.
Download the Report at: IoT Outlook 2015 Report
A high-stakes battle has emerged in the rapidly-changing market for enterprise mobility management, also known as EMM.
Three of the market’s biggest names — Microsoft, MobileIron and VMware — have each made a string of moves over the past month that reveal polarising strategies. At one end are companies that primarily bundle EMM into a wider proprietary set of software; at the other, those more focused on specialism in mobility and teaming up with “best of breed” partners.
The implications of these contrasting approaches reach far beyond EMM as we think of it today and force us to rethink the market’s definition. Here I’ll examine some of these recent announcements and explain what they mean to the market.
MobileIron’s Mobile First 2015
At its annual Mobile First conference in June, MobileIron made several announcements that reveal how its direction and identity are changing and broadening how we think of EMM.
As the only publicly-listed standalone EMM provider, MobileIron is often thought of solely as a device management firm that has evolved into managing mobile apps and content. But in my view, MobileIron’s moving much more rapidly beyond these roots into the information security space. Central to this shift is Sentry, perhaps its most important source of intellectual property.
Sentry manages, encrypts, and secures traffic between a mobile device and back-end enterprise systems. Sentry’s role has grown as customers have moved to the cloud and started deploying mobile apps beyond e-mail. Customer data is therefore starting to flow between, and live on, multiple Internet and proprietary enterprise systems, as well as travelling on public networks.
Sentry is attempting to step into this domain, becoming a mobile-aware information security gateway that uses technologies such as per-app virtual private networks to govern and secure mobile enterprise data. In effect, information security has been the focus of many of MobileIron’s announcements in 2015, making the company quite different from how we’ve traditionally viewed it and the wider EMM market.
MobileIron has taken a different approach to several of its competitors when it comes to bringing its products to market. Its focus on mobility, specialism, neutrality and partnering with leading names in adjacent technology areas are big parts of its differentiation, enabling MobileIron to compete as requirements broaden beyond the areas it controls. The company is currently unprofitable and under scrutiny after a difficult first quarter; it will be hoping this route to market will help it manage expenditure.
The company’s App Connect ecosystem, which has gathered over 200 partnerships, helps to position MobileIron as the central mobile security “brain” for several systems, including Ping and Okta for identity management, FireEye for threat protection, Splunk for analytics and Cisco Systems for network access controls.
At Mobile First 2015, CEO Bob Tinker described this partner approach as the “anti-stack”. Specialism is arguably necessary to address current IT security requirements, which are inherently based on mobility. The challenge will be for MobileIron to articulate to new customers and to Wall Street why this precision matters, especially as much larger competitors are also changing the market by bundling EMM with their own core products at a lower cost.
VMware launches Identity Manager
VMware is one of these competitors. On 17 June, it launched Identity Manager, a unified identity management solution providing single sign-on for Web, cloud and native mobile applications across multiple VMware environments, including AirWatch, its EMM product.
Since its acquisition of AirWatch in February 2014, VMware has rapidly integrated the acquired technology into its set of virtualisation, data centre and networking products. Identity Manager builds on this strategy and extends the identity management assets VMware bought from TriCipher in 2010 to its cloud infrastructure as well as to AirWatch. The product is available for sale through several AirWatch commercial bundles.
The strategy of integrating AirWatch software, as well as launching new products like Identity Manager that unify its environments, appears to be accelerating VMware’s end-user computing business and AirWatch itself. The success was reflected in its recent quarterly results.
It is a strategy that, like MobileIron’s evolution into information security, is also reshaping how we think of the EMM market as customers weigh the benefits of having data centre, desktop virtualisation, mobility management and unified identity management solutions all under one roof.
Most importantly, VMware’s integration strategy sets it apart from rivals and lets it commercially outmanoeuvre MobileIron while offsetting incursions from Microsoft, its main competitor. Microsoft, much like VMware, competes in EMM with an increasing number of bundled products within its portfolio.
Microsoft bundles Advanced Threat Analytics
Microsoft’s EMM strategy is based on its Enterprise Mobility Suite, which is a subscription service bundle made up of several Microsoft products including Azure Active Directory Premium, its identity management service, Azure Rights Management, its document protection technology, and Intune, Microsoft’s device and application management solution.
On 23 June Microsoft quietly announced that it was extending this bundle to include Advanced Threat Analytics, a threat-monitoring and machine-learning technology launched at Ignite in May 2015. It hasn’t revealed timings and prices yet.
Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility Suite has made waves in EMM since launching in 2014, largely because of its focus on identity management. Now that VWware has entered the market, the announcement of integrated threat analysis further advances Microsoft’s bundle. In January, I said Microsoft was a top five enterprise mobility provider to watch in 2015. In March the company announced it had over 20,000 customers for Enterprise Mobility Suite, although it’s unclear how many of them have actually deployed it, rather than only purchasing it under an enterprise licence agreement.
As a latecomer to the EMM space, Microsoft’s momentum is down to two main factors. First is Redmond’s focus on commercially bundling EMM across the Microsoft range of software. As SAP has shown with mobile device management purchases in the past, bundling EMM may prove attractive for customers with large-scale licence agreements that can purchase EMM with other stuff at a lower cost. The launch of Enterprise Cloud Suite, which includes Enterprise Mobility Suite alongside Office 365 and Windows Enterprise licences (and now Advanced Threat Analytics), is an example of this strategy.
Second, and most importantly, Microsoft’s Office group has intentionally locked the management of Office on mobile devices more tightly to Enterprise Mobility Suite rather than entirely opening it up to third parties like MobileIron and VMware. Holding back some Office management APIs naturally boosts the competitive advantage of Microsoft’s own product and supports the claim that it “protects Office better”.
Whether this abuses its market power or not, Microsoft’s bundling strategy is rapidly reshaping the EMM space. This is because the adjacent technologies that help Microsoft compete, such as identity and rights management, productivity software, traditional Windows management and now threat monitoring, all force EMM buyers to make even tougher decisions over the next 12 months.
What does it mean?
The past few weeks of announcements from three of the EMM market’s leading players reveal increasingly polarising strategies between those that bundle EMM into a wider set of proprietary software and those that do not. Buyers will have even harder, more-complex decisions to make, weighing up the pros and cons of being locked into a single provider or opting to manage multiple, often smaller, specialist providers.
Bundled solutions have the advantages of cost efficiency and simplification, which have proven valuable to IT departments in the past for more standardised client-server computing. But only time will tell whether they fully translate to address the huge diversity of mobile computing and the demands of employees. Buyers will have to remember that it is often employees driving mobility in enterprises, as our survey shows.
Above all, EMM is changing and requires us to rethink its definition as an increasingly diverse array of adjacent technologies are starting to change where the market’s heading. Thanks to the strategies of major players, future avenues include information security, identity management, management of PCs and Internet of things devices, productivity software, platform as a service and analytics.
The winners will shape the future of enterprise information security and computing management in the coming years, and form the foundation for new enterprise IT value. Those are the stakes; perhaps this is the new definition worth considering.
Enterprise customers value software providers on factors beyond cost, benefit and ROI, a new IDC study shows.
Issues such as ease of doing business, license compliance, application management and cloud support make a difference to enterprise customers in selecting a preferred vendor, according to IDC data from a survey sponsored by Flexera, a provider of licensing, compliance and application installation tools and solutions.
The study, referred to by the sponsors as the “Customer Choice Awards” for rivals in the enterprise software market, asked 147 participants to rate vendors on eight different factors–criteria that “vendors should take note of and be aware of as they develop, launch and support their products,” IDC and Flexera said. The vendor for each category landing the most “Strongly Agree” or “Agree” responses won the “Customer Choice Award” for that question.
Competitors included Adobe (ADB), CA (CA), Citrix (CTRX), EMC (EMC), HP (HPQ), IBM (IBM), Microsoft (MSFT), Oracle (ORCL), SAP (SAP), Salesforce (CRM), Symantec (SYMC) and VMware (VMW), which taken together command about 50 percent of the market, or $200 billion in software spend.
“Applications require ongoing effort and cost to manage, support and maintain throughout the lifecycle of the license,” said Amy Konary, IDC Software Licensing and Provisioning research vice president. “The ease with which organizations can support those applications, and partner with their application providers during the process has a dramatic impact on vendors’ favorability ratings.”
Keeping in mind that anecdotal data is just that, basically the respondent’s opinion, here are the winners and losers:
- Easiest vendor to work with? EMC. 91 percent of the survey’s respondents said so. Who scored the lowest? Oracle, at 43 percent.
- Vendor’s apps easiest to manage, patch, maintain and upgrade? VMware. 91 percent said so. Who scored the lowest? Oracle again at 35 percent.
- Vendor’s licensing policies easiest to understand? HP at 89.8 percent. Citrix came in a close second at 89.6 percent. Yet again Oracle scored the lowest at 42.9 percent.
- Vendor’s usage and spend stats easy to understand? VMware at 93 percent. Poor Oracle, last again at 31 percent.
- Vendor’s mobile, virtualization and cloud licensing rules help with migration? Citrix at 88 percent. Who lost? You guessed it, Oracle at 45 percent.
- Vendor rarely issues license compliance audits? Citrix at 94 percent. Do we say Oracle lost at 35 percent or did you already know?
- Vendor rarely forces license compliance true-up fees? HP wins at 93 percent with Oracle losing at 29 percent.
- Vendor’s app prices reasonable and offer good ROI? Citrix at 87 percent with Oracle scoring the lowest at 44 percent.
“Building great products that deliver ROI is and should be the primary driver for every software vendor,” said Richard Northing, Flexera Products and Services senior vice president. “However, this report suggests that software companies must also look downstream and optimize the customer experience across a wide range of value criteria,” he said.
Software giant’s ongoing battle to protect emails stored in overseas datacentre from US government enters new phase
Microsoft has warned a US federal appeals court that forcing it to hand over email data stored in its Dublin datacentre could pave the way for overseas governments to demand American citizens to surrender their data too.
The supplier has so far challenged all court-ordered attempts to make it part with the information, on the grounds that the data is stored overseas where the US government’s search powers do not apply.
Microsoft was initially ordered by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) in December 2013 to comply with a warrant that would give law enforcers the right to seize and search the emails of an unnamed suspected drug trafficker.
The firm failed to have the move overturned by the US Court for the Southern District of New York in August 2014, but is making its case in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals this week.
The DoJ said in court on 9 September that the government has the right to ask any US-based email provider to hand over data on their users regardless of where in the world their data is held.
Microsoft counsel Joshua Rosenkranz rejected this claim, and is reported by the Guardian to have said: “This is an execution of law enforcement seizure on their land. We would go crazy if China did this to us.”
The crux of the issue is that the DoJ thinks the emails should be classed as “business records”, while Microsoft’s stance is that they constitute personal documents. If the court rules in the DoJ’s favour, the department would only need to present a search warrant to get hold of them.
“The notion of the government’s that private emails are Microsoft’s business records is very scary,” said Rosenkranz.
The outcome of the case has big implications for the cloud industry, as the issue of who has the right to access data stored off-premise remains a top concern for users.
For this reason, Microsoft’s stance on the issue has won the support of its rivals, including Amazon, Apple and Salesforce.
Cloud providers IBM and Google build datacentres in the EU as enterprises insist on keeping their data in Europe.
Amazon may be the king of the cloud world, but some customers find its data sovereignty assurances clear as mud.
Ahead of the company’s return to court, Brad Smith, executive vice-president and general counsel for Microsoft, told the Council on Foreign Relations that it is determined to challenge the ruling because the laws on who can access users’ data in the cloud are so muddled.
“At the broadest level, this issue is about the future of technology. We need to ensure people can trust the technology on their desks and in their pockets. This trust will only come if the laws are clear,” said Smith.
“If the US government is permitted to serve warrants on tech companies in the United States and obtain people’s emails in any country, it will open the floodgate for other countries to serve warrants on tech companies for the private communications of American citizens that are stored in the United States in a datacentre owned by a foreign company.”
The case continues.