ESG Blog: Talking Mobility (ESG 360 Video Series)
Here, Mark Bowker starts his discussion of IT mobility by defining it broadly--but-clearly--as the secure delivery of apps and data wherever and however needed.

Jul 05, 2018
Mark Peters   ESG Blog: Talking Mobility (ESG 360 Video Series)
Author: Mark Peters


Peters_Bowker_360Here, Mark Bowker starts his discussion of IT mobility by defining it broadly--but-clearly--as the secure delivery of apps and data wherever and however needed. This major practical change in IT is conceptually simple to grasp but brings multiple complex challenges for IT organizations - not least of which is the dual threat of unpredictability and associated [potential for] lack of control. Mark explains that the major foci for IT around mobility are therefore security, policy, and management structures - but that isn’t to say that there is not also a major, gratifying pay-off for IT organizations that get mobility done well...

IT has probably never been more complex and demanding than today: even as approaches such as convergence, myriad clouds, containers, and software-definition (etc.) seek to make operations simpler, so to a degree such elements can also obfuscate some of the underlying subtleties and opportunities of the foundational components. After all, while it’s great to focus on purchasing - for instance - application service levels or business outcomes, some understanding of the IT elements (and considerations or choices) that contribute to those is also often useful. That is the purpose of this video discussion series: it offers ESG’s subject matter experts discussing some of the key trends, drivers, and considerations across various IT areas. We aim to do it succinctly and to deliver it in engaging, plain English - while also tying each technology area back to its eventual potential to positively impact both IT and business results. 

We hope you find this video discussion useful. We will expand - and update - the series regularly.

Please feel free to reach out to Mark Bowker or me, Mark Peters, to discuss any of these topics in more depth.

Be sure to watch the other discussions in this series: 

Video Transcript

Announcer: The following is an ESG 360 video.

Mark Peters: For those of us who don't follow closely every little aspect of what makes IT great these days, I've been talking to my colleagues so they can expound a little on the areas that they cover. One of, perhaps, the most dramatic changes that has occurred in the last...well, we'll find out, 5 or 10 years, is that of mobility. And so, I'm here with Mark Bowker. Mark, thank you for being here.

Mark Bowker: Yes.

Mark Peters: And I'll start with a straight question.

Mark Bowker: Sure.

Mark Peters: For those of us who don't know, what is mobility? Is it just carrying a phone around?

Mark Bowker: It is, yes, but it's more than that. So, the way I like to explain it, it's ultimately about the secure delivery of apps and data across devices. So, it's about having a consistent experience as a user across a phone, a tablet, a PC, in any of those different places, so I can get my work done. It's that simple.

Mark Peters: Okay. But, it has been a dramatic change. You'll come back to that later, but it really is one of the...the way we consume IT, whether it's individuals or businesses, is dramatic.

Mark Bowker: Yeah. I mean, the dramatic change, quite honestly, has been...the biggest change is, really, businesses, or more specifically IT, has lost control. So, in the past, the environment that you were in was very predictable. I had a laptop or a desktop, it had an image on there with a certain set of applications and certain access to certain files or data, and now I have a device that is very unpredictable. It's unpredictable of the applications that are being used on it because the user may be installing them himself. It's unpredictable of what the data that's on there. It's unpredictable of the network it's going to be on. It's unpredictable of the location that person's going to be in. And that makes it very difficult for IT to manage. So, a lot of the focus is, ultimately, how do I provide a consistent set of policy for Mark and Mark across their devices no matter where they're accessing that information from?

Mark Peters: And I'll come back to that thought in just a second, but before we come back to that, maybe linked to that, but what are a couple of key things going on, whether it's vendors, trends, particular technologies in the industry that are relevant for someone to know at the moment?

Mark Bowker: Yeah, and this is one of the cool things. So, from a trend perspective, it's all about, is it built in from a technology perspective, meaning, is it going to provide all that secure access that I talked about, or am I going to have to bolt that on? So, traditionally, what has IT done? They have bought tools, and each of these tools require a different level of investment, a different level of integration, a different level of support, the people to actually run those tools. And there's this notion now of where I take a platform where things are built into it. So, if I take this platform approach where I'm going to provide that management, and those policies, and that conditional access across those devices, now what I'm seeing is more functionality being built into that platform, so more around security, data management, privacy, just intelligence of the data and that user as well.

Mark Peters: And is that control... Well, what I was really going to get to, you said something really interesting just now, which is that IT can or has lost control.

Mark Bowker: Yeah.

Mark Peters: What does IT gain from all this, or did it not have a choice in this happening? But, if you do this well, what does a traditional or a contemporary IT organization get by doing mobility optimally?

Mark Bowker: They can say yes, right. IT is, right, the department to know, and they can say yes. So, I mean, ultimately, what you get is happier employees and you get to open up the door where people can use these devices in these platforms, in these applications, in ways they haven't been able to in the past. So, they aren't restricted from this single workspace environment they're used to working in. They have more instant access to information, which gives them better intelligence, which even gives them better insight. And, ultimately, while security is a problem right now, I think, ultimately, over time, security actually gets better because that device that you keep in your back pocket knows more about you. So, it knows your behavior. It knows how you pull that device out of your pocket, it knows how you touch that device, and that can be used to provide, actually, even more secure access, and ultimately, experience into your working environment.

Mark Peters: Actually, that's a really interesting note to close on. So, I mean, we can all see the value of having things instantly and applications that we want to use, but as you say, if you do it well, then you end up with something that's actually better at the end of the day.

Mark Bowker: You got it.

Mark Peters: All right, Mark, thank you very much indeed.

Mark Bowker: Yeah, no problem.

Mark Peters: And thank you for watching.

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