About the Author

Rob DeStefano | Product Marketing Manager

‘What Device Is That?’ Visibility to See the Unseen

When I look at my home network, it isn’t easy to determine which device is which. So when I’m looking at the number of devices connected to the corporate network, I’m amazed.

The game of hide-and-seek to find a new device (or even an application) and determine its legitimacy can be painful.

This is why visibility is so important. Without it, consider the following challenges you face among IT priorities:

  • Security

The threats you don’t know about can be the scariest. Whether it’s a rogue device or malware brought in on through a new app, it doesn’t belong.

You need to know when a threat exists in order to ensure it’s removed.

  • Asset management

You don’t want to fail an audit, nor do you want to buy unnecessary licenses. You need visibility to know what software is running, when and where it’s being used—as well as the associated allocations—in order to maintain compliance.

  • Endpoint management

Users replace BYO devices all the time, but are you sure that new device you’re seeing belongs to one of your users? You need to know so you can take appropriate action.

  • Service management

Without visibility, it’s hard to deliver optimal experiences. Service management teams need to see and understand the impact changes have on services and processes in order to ensure quality.

That’s why we’re excited about our latest LANDESK product releases.

We’re delivering the tools you need so you can see what is entering your environment, be it new hardware or software, and the all the necessary information so you can take action.

We’re showing these new solutions and more at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo this week. Stop by booth #413 to learn more!

Mobility Management and its Role in Unified Endpoint Management

It’s an annual event that we look forward to at LANDESK, the release of the Gartner Magic Quadrants (MQ) for our various solutions.  For me, the Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management Suites is special.  Not because of the days we invest preparing our response (it’s a lot of work), but the MQ gives an opportunity for those of us who live with these products day-in/day-out a chance to step back realize how fast this area of technology moves, and what it means to our customers.

It makes sense, when you think about it: Users exchange their mobile devices every 12-18 months, and that can cross two generations of smartphone models.  With that compressed lifecycle, and the evolution of functionality that comes with each new generation of device, keeping up with the technology is worthy of an annual assessment like the MQ.  Mobile, on its own (and that’s how the EMM Magic Quadrant is determined) is so dynamic, so when we see the MQ publication, we are always happy to see the market assessment aligning with big challenges our customers are looking for us to help them solve.

One of the biggest changes this past year has been the desire to consolidate the toolsets needed to manage everything users carry – from their laptop (and it could be Windows, Mac, etc.) to their smartphone/tablet/other (Android, iOS, etc.). The term is “Unified Endpoint Management”, and we have been hearing a lot from our customers about the desire for clients of all types (traditional and mobile) to be managed together in this way.  It enables user-centered IT management with huge efficiencies. This is the first time that UEM rankings have been part of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant criteria.

For the IT admin, it offers a single system for configuring and managing everything a user carries.  A truly integrated UEM solution, such as LANDESK Management Suite 2016, delivers this in such a way that make it super easy to see, configure and manage all the devices in a user’s portfolio, together and simultaneously.  For the end user, they can count on consistent access across the screens they use, because the policies are configured uniformly based on their role, not the device itself.  Simple, easy user management.

We don’t want to spoil the fun of reading the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management for yourselves, but we’re extremely proud of our inclusion and move into the “Visionaries” quadrant of the MQ (no vendor saw as significant a shift in the positive direction)!  We’re also honored to have been recognized for our Unified Endpoint Management approach, which leverages our historic strength in Client Management Tools, and brings EMM into the same LDMS product for a truly integrated solution.  Take a look Gartner’s assessments, then take a look at all the devices your users carry.  Do you have all the visibility you need to confidently manage it all?

IT Management and Utilities

IT Management is often like utilities, taken for granted until something goes wrong.

IT Management is often like utilities, taken for granted until something goes wrong.

People talk about IT management and how the solutions are so…Wait… Are you falling asleep already???

The joke of late has been that IT Management is necessary, but mundane. Therefore, a “boring” IT management provider is what you should expect. It’s kind of like utilities. Anyone have a great story about their energy provider? Miles of cables, neatly strung, 40-feet (12 meters) above the ground, goes unnoticed in the landscape. Or natural gas mains, buried deep below the streets, silently bringing the energy you need to heat your home and cook dinner for your family.

2016: Looking ahead in Enterprise Mobility

Android(own)There will be Android “N” and an iPhone 7. Ok, now for some predictions. Certain things are expected in the mobile marketplace, but it’s the unexpected that can often be the most fun. Beyond speculating on what the “N” will be (and could it really be anything but “Nutella”?), there are several very big items that could reach critical mass in the coming year. I’m only going to predict a few, but invite you to share your predictions and your mobility wish lists with me.

• Mobile payment takes off. What it does after that is the fun part. With both leading platforms offering mobile payment on their latest generation devices, it will be interesting to see how adoption goes. Considering retailers (here in the USA, specifically) are already dealing with EMV chip-based payment in fits and starts, perhaps mobile payment is a welcomed alternative. Or maybe another headache.
• Mobile malware escalates. In 2015, we witnessed early, but newsworthy, breaches of the iOS platform. We’ve also seen how jailbroken devices can turn mobile users into what I call “unwitting accomplices to the forces of evil”. There are bad guys out there, and they are continuously looking for opportunities. Mobility, because of its very personal nature – BYOD and all, need to be protected, because users have widely varying degrees of understanding the risks.
• Tablets over-expand. In 2010 Steve Jobs proclaimed “the current crop of 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA”. A lot has changed over the past five years, but the iPad Pro and Mini? Tablet sales, in general, have been sluggish this year, and the things to watch will be a narrowing of sizes, and whether the push for convertible tablets, which Microsoft is driving with the Surface, changes the way we use these larger screen mobile devices.

We’ll all, undoubtedly, be tuned in to the fast-moving space that is enterprise mobility. It’s a market that continues to impress with its speed of change and the introduction of new technologies. At LANDESK, we’re excited to experience it alongside you, and look forward to helping you optimize its place within your business.

I’ll close with a “thank you” for choosing LANDESK as your partner for user-centered IT. We wish you all the best for a happy, healthy 2016!

Of baseball legends and user-centered IT

Baseball(own)For those who have followed my blog posts over time, you might be aware that I’m a New Yorker, born and bred. Living 2,000 miles from our corporate office is actually a great way to experience mobility as a part of my work (I get to do some real-world testing). And in New York, we’re serious about sports. At this time of year, with both the New York Mets and New York Yankees doing well, we’re all saddened by the loss of a baseball legend who made great contributions wearing each MLB uniform. For those who aren’t familiar, Yogi Berra was a tremendous player for the Yankees and then served as a coach and manager for the Mets through their first two trips to the World Series (1969 and 1973, respectively). Beyond his on-field performance, Mr. Berra was widely known for his humorous way with words. As a salute to the sports icon, I’ve attempted to come up with a few clever “Yogi-isms” he might have said about IT Management today. You might like them, unless you don’t.

Are Jailbroken iPhones creating a huge risk for attacks?

iPhoneBroke(own)225,000! A single piece of malware enabled 225,000 iPhones to be hacked, according to a report from Palo Alto Networks released last week. And so the iOS platform, long perceived as more secure than its competitors, falls victim to the forces of evil. However, in defense of Apple, and iOS (full disclosure: I carry an iPhone and iPad – I’m a remote, mobile employee after all), there are 225,000 accomplices to evil-doing out there: the users who decided it was a good idea to jailbreak their iPhone. Considering the number of corporate users who carry these, and alternative smartphones, your exposure could be significant.

Mobility Turf Wars – Enterprise Edition

Businessmen fightingPicture it: Battle lines that were drawn two decades ago, with deep roots in historical precedent. It’s been this way since time immemorial – or at least since the 1990s.  I’m referring to the challenge that enterprises across the globe have been trying to sort out for several years now. The debate is about mobility, and where in the corporate structure its policies and management ought to reside.

Traditionalists argue that it already does, and should remain, within the Telecom team, as this team has owned mobility since its earliest definition: the voice-only cellular phones that proliferated the business in the 1990s. The argument is that it should remain where the corporate plans and expenses are managed, and where the vendor relationships exist.

2015 Enterprise Mobility Predictions

454127893Sitting down back in January, if someone had told you some of the biggest mobility stories of 2014, would you have believed them? That’s the way it happens in an industry that moves as fast as the enterprise mobility market – disruption is an ongoing activity. There have been some that were anticipated stories: what would the iPhone 6 bring? Would the “L” be for “lollipop” or “licorice”? While others weren’t expected: malware hitting the iOS platform, Apple’s partnership with IBM, and the root causes of some high-profile data breaches. Between mergers, shifts in hype and security issues, this year has not had time for the ink to dry on one story before the next is leaping off the page!

You can take a look back at my predictions for 2014 if you enjoy the “year-in-review” experience. Fast moving markets produce significant, and often surprising dynamics all the time. With 2015 just a few short weeks away, here are some of the enterprise mobility predictions I expect we’ll witness in the coming year:

• Touch-ID solutions will proliferate. Apple introduced it with the iPhone 5s, and expanded its use in iOS 8. In 2015, expect Google (via Samsung) and Microsoft to bring similar technologies to market for authentication on Android and Windows Phone, respectively.
• UEM becomes a leading acronym. That’s right, take a whole bunch of acronyms you’ve been using for the last few years and mesh them together into a single, broader solution. For those not familiar, UEM, or Unified Endpoint Management, will become a big theme in 2015 as companies wrestle with multiple vendors and products to manage all the technology that enterprise users carry. Market insiders have been talking about it a lot in 2014, but in 2015, expect IT to start demanding tight integration among mobile, systems and security management.
• Workspaces no longer refer to cubicles. It has already started in 2014, but enterprise workspaces will become a widely discussed term in 2015, delivering on the promise of role-based access to corporate content that enables user across the organization to be more productive and connected to the tools they need in order to get their jobs done.

We’ll be watching for these trends, as well as the numerous surprises 2015 will have in-store for us in the New Year. What are your predictions for Enterprise Mobility in 2015? Email me: robert.destefano@landesk.com with your expectations, wishes and dreams. Or comment below.

Finally, all of us at LANDESK thank you for entrusting us to provide your IT Management solutions. We look forward to providing you with new and enhanced solution in 2015 that further our promise of user-oriented IT, and we wish you all the best for a happy, healthy 2015!

Why Wrap an App: An Explosive Argument

100882419I’ve spent some time working with customers in the hazardous locations market – where mobile devices are essentially sealed in a manner that prevents an electrical spark within a mobile device from causing a serious danger to the external environment within which these kinds of devices are used. Think of it in this way: Inside a mobile device, there are plenty of little electronic circuits that can discharge static electricity (a spark). If that spark were to be exposed to the air in a petrochemical refining facility, the consequences could be dire (and that’s an understatement). As a result, mobile devices used in these kinds of environments need to be sealed in such a way that the activities happening within the mobile device are sealed off from the outside world. Some call it “Intrinsic Safety” or “Hermetic Sealing”.

App-wrapping is essentially the mobility software equivalent of this safety measure. Companies need to protect their data that is accessed on the mobile device. Much of that data may be confidential, and if it were to be exposed to the public, it could potentially cause severe damage. Still, just as there are productivity benefits for workers to work in hazardous locations, there are similar advantages for allowing mobile users to have access to the content they need from their mobile devices. In both cases, sealing off the risk is the best kind of security, but the precautions have to be aligned with how the users get their work done.

Mobile security has some very obvious benefits. Below are a few specific to app-wrapping that warrant consideration:

• Provide for mobile security without compromising the user experience (as containerization had)
• Protect wrapped application data from being accessed by external (unwrapped) applications
• Unlike SDK-based app-wrapping, one-click wrapping makes for easier deployment
• IT can update security policies without having to re-deploy all the wrapped applications
• Wrap all kinds of Android apps (Enterprise and Google Play Store apps)

Mobile security requires the balance of data isolation and insulation against vulnerabilities. Any breach of that confidential data, and it’s bound to ignite a firestorm. Like those intrinsically safe devices I mentioned earlier, be sure your mobile data is wrapped to protect it from danger.

ROI of the Mobile Worker

Over the past several months, I’ve been listening to the way customers describe their return on mobility investments.  The answers are impressive.  Answers range from increases in worker speed of task completion, to task accuracy, to month to recognize complete return on dollar investments, reductions in man-hours for cyclical process completions, reductions in seasonal headcounts, reductions in worker training time, and more.  The measurements of return on mobility investment are impressive percentages and yield significant dollar-value savings to each of the companies I’ve heard from.

What is really interesting is how companies can measure their return on investment in such vast and different ways. In some cases, the measure is dollars saved by reducing errors.  In others, it is increased shipments that yield additional dollars per package shipped.  In still others, the savings is recognized by a reduction in seasonal labor, or less worker hours dedicated to completing a specific task.  Whatever the measurement, there are two things that remain true: Every measurement ties to a dollar-value savings that can prove a mathematical return on investment for the dollars spent enabling mobility.  Even more importantly, the measurement each company used to describe their ROI told far more about the problem each was attempting to solve.

Enterprises deploy mobility to achieve a higher level of productivity, but it is not done just Warehouse worker using mobile devicefor the sake of using mobile technology. There is an underlying pain that the company is trying to address – some way of improving a process to gain efficiency, or to recognize a cost savings.  There is a problem to be solved by deploying mobility – and one recommended approach to begin defining the best mobility solution is to start with an operations audit that can help find the weaknesses and inefficiencies in current processes.  By adding automation and voice-enablement, Speakeasy has consistently shown productivity gains for mobile supply chain workers of over 35%. That’s like getting an extra day of productivity from every worker – for every three days worked. Now that’s a fast ROI!

What problems are you aiming to solve with mobility in your enterprise? What measurements are you tracking to determine ROI?  Email me with your objectives at: Robert.DeStefano@LANDESK.com