Did I really just reference Reagan’s most famous speech as my blog title? You bet I did, and I’m not going to stop with the title. As the Cold War was coming to an end, Reagan stood at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and urged Mr. Gorbachev to show that he really sought peace and prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Everyone remembers (either from seeing it live or learning about it in school) his famous plea “Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down this Wall!” What we might not remember were the profound words he used leading up to that: “We welcome change and openness, for we believe that freedom and security go together.”
Wow, who would have thought that those words would ring so true in the world of business and IT today? Let’s face it, the Enterprise had holes in their walls in the early 90s when e-mail became popular. Those holes grew in the mid 90s when Netscape launched their browser. But, Mr. Benioff really did a number on those walls back in 1999 when he launched Salesforce.com, and built the multi-billion dollar SaaS market.
Over the past two decades, IT has needed to evolve to stay relevant and to enable the businesses they support to grow. Years ago, IT enabled users by providing them with the computers and the set of applications they needed to do their work. If the employee base wanted new tools and capabilities they had to go to IT for those things. Those employees often felt that IT’s role in the Enterprise was to say “No.” Users today are now doing many of the things that they once relied on IT to do; specifically, they are bringing in their own devices and self-provisioning applications to be more productive.
While this paradigm shift might be scary to IT, this does not need to be a zero sum game where IT and end-users fight over control and flexibility. Smart IT organizations have found ways to maintain control and security while providing users the flexibility and freedom they need to be productive. Really smart IT organizations have come to Centrify for that. The reality is, users no longer work 9-5 jobs and leave their work in the office. Work takes place wherever the user is, and on whatever device the user has access to. Centrify understands this and enables IT to say ‘Yes’ to their users, to make them more productive on the devices and apps that they choose, while doing the following:
- Maintaining a single user identity (Users are managed through an existing AD or in the Cloud)
- Reducing password sprawl for users
- Securing the devices
If you are a CIO / CISO, or run your company’s IT and mobile strategy, don’t turn your head from what’s going on around you. Your users are using mobile devices to access company resources, and they are using applications that you haven’t sanctioned or provided to them. Isn’t it time you welcome the change and openness? Isn’t it time you tear down those walls? This will certainly give your users the freedom…we can help you with the security.