I have been a career IT fella. Ran global infrastructure operations (outage at 2 a.m.? You bet). Issued firm-wide tech strategy for a bank. Even had the misfortune of being a CIO (was good at it, just not a lot of fun. Can I hear a whoop whoop from you CIOs out there?)
One of the great benefits of moving to the other side of the desk to run a software company is that instead of getting great and deep access across all business lines of my firm, I now get to see challenges across a ton of businesses – banks, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, software, services, etc. And I get to see things at the human/business layer, not just the tech layer.
One subject I mentioned briefly in my last blog that has surprised me is the widespread quiet pain of how *screwed* companies are in their relationships with their employees when it comes to using mobile devices.
Imagine having to say this: yes, you can use YOUR iPad with MY Enterprise services but to do so:
All of this effort and burden for quick 2-5 minutes spurts of productivity. An entire industry – MDM vaulting/App stores – has been born out of trying to figure out how to register all your devices to get all these apps to them and make sure you can *demonstrate* control over them.
What a disaster. Mass confusion. The employee view of IT as a result: you just don’t get it.
What to do? It would seem we are heading into the same dilemma PCs went through 20 years ago. Distributed business logic and app intelligence out to the edge is BAD for Enterprise. Need to control. Need intrusion detection. Edge point control. That means VPN. And 9-minute boot up times. I know, let’s blacklist the Internet, that will save us.
What will eventually happen, when we realize the folly of this approach for mobile? If history is a teacher, the approach will likely look like this:
And if you can find a way to navigate this far, then why not make the characteristic of the presentation layer be “leave no footprints”?
At Framehawk, that was a design point. If data actually never leaves your data center:
Don’t manage what you don’t have…leave no footprints…
The alternative? Chaos, control issues, angry people. Lawyers. You choose. :)
This post also appears on Getting a Grep.