Gartner Symposium/IT Expo 2014 Wrap-Up

I recently attended the Gartner Symposium/IT Expo in Orlando with the Centrify team. For those of you not familiar with this event, it draws a lot of CIO’s/CSO’s and provides many timely and informative sessions for executive attendees. As a result, the booth conversations are often some of the best conversations for me as part of the Centrify Product team. I get first-hand accounts of the challenges and initiatives that enterprise IT teams are facing, and discuss the business and technical solutions they are looking for to accomplish their goals.

Walking around the show floor, and browsing the sessions, it’s clear that Centrify is in a great place to address the current concerns of the Enterprise IT market.

Of the hundreds of sessions at the event, 112 were mobile focused, 62 were security focused, and there were another 100 sessions around cloud. That’s a pretty good indication of what’s top of mind for CIO’s/CSO’s today.

My discussions at the show reinforced what we have seen as a critical challenge for IT: The proliferation of mobile devices, and explosion of cloud apps are not two separate things – but in fact are one intertwined challenge to be solved.

Managing BYOD remains a key challenge for IT, but managing the device is only half of the solution. Today’s devices are being used for way more than just corporate email – cloud apps of all types are accessed from these devices – and IT security folks know that requires some kind of security to prevent unauthorized access, and to ensure that you’re allowing only the right folks into your apps, from approved devices.

The intersection of security, cloud, and mobile is where the problem lies – and that’s right where Centrify is focused – delivering the best solutions for secure application access from any device. Only when you can manage app access, device security, and policy that is context-aware (including mobile) can you truly provide secure single sign-on. Centrify customers are taking advantage of our unique integrated mobile security and SSO solution today – watch this space for more details of how we will continue to grow that solution to address the needs of customers that we learned about at the show.

Tied right into this cloud and mobile issue was an interesting session that I attended around Gartner’s EMM magic quadrant. Gartner is building a whole new quadrant in response to the fact that the MDM market has become too broad, and many of the defining features of the legacy MDM market are now becoming part of the OS. One inclusion requirement Gartner outlined for the magic quadrant was the ability to manage at least three of the following mobile OS’s: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry. We know that Android is the only mobile OS to have positive market share growth right now. Currently overall, Android is at 84.7 percent, Apple is at 11.7 percent and Windows Phone is at 2.5 percent. It will be interesting to see what Microsoft is going to respond with to boost those numbers. (FYI, BlackBerry is 0.5 percent and falling.)

I talked to a lot of CIO’s about which OS’s they plan to support, and – no surprise – they told me it’s iOS and Android in every business, all of the time. Leave me a comment below if you are considering Windows Phone, or Blackberry, and let me know why.

It’s clear that mobile is still top of mind. It’s exciting to see that the market is converging toward EMM and SSO solutions where managing the device is critical, but new solutions, like Centrify, are helping customers use identity to protect the data on devices, and in the cloud.