Q&A with Christy Wyatt of Good Technology
Christy Wyatt recently took over as president and chief executive officer of enterprise mobility management firm Good Technology at a time of rapid change in the enterprise mobility space.
The technology earthquake caused by the introduction of smartphones and tablets into the consumer market has generated a BYOD tsunami that threatens to overwhelm IT departments. Firms like Good are there at the ramparts helping IT fend off security threats, while maintaining order within the organization.
Wyatt joined Good from Citi, where she led the bank's consumer e-business and mobile technology business for a brief six months. Prior to that, she spent seven years at Motorola, where she observed first-hand the rise of BYOD and the challenges it posed for IT departments. FierceMobileIT interviewed Wyatt to discuss what she plans to accomplish as head of Good and where she sees the enterprise mobility management market heading.
FierceMobileIT: What prompted you to leave Citi and accept the position as the head of Good Technology?
Christy Wyatt: I had only been with Citi for around six months. Citi was a fantastic organization and I was having a lot of fun. I met with the previous CEO of Good [King Lee] at an event, and he had been looking around for a successor ... So we sat down at an event and he took me through what Good was working on and what the future looked like. I got really excited. It is generally not my nature to do a bounce like that. Citi was great about it. They are a Good customer, so we still get to work with them. It was just a great opportunity. I think there are a lot of interesting things happening here.
FierceMobileIT: I understand you had a background in mobility with Motorola before you went to Citi. How was that experience?
Wyatt: I had been with Motorola for about seven years. In that time, I had done a variety of things. For the longest period of time, I had been responsible for their software and services. In the last year I was at Motorola, we had actually created a separate business unit specifically focused on this market. What we had seen was many customers coming to us and saying that they wanted to bring more mobile devices into the enterprise and they were looking for solutions to manage these devices in the organization. So, we created the business unit because the market was growing so quickly. When we sold Motorola to Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), a number of us left at that time. After taking a break in the summer, I went to back to work at Citi.
FierceMobileIT: How do you see the BYOD trend impacting demand for mobile device management?
Wyatt: When I was at Motorola, I worked on acquiring a company called 3LM, which was a device management company spun out of Google. I had been having a lot of conversations with customers about device management and about mobile security. In that period of time, I came to believe that the set of tools that an IT manager needed was really focused around device management, security, and locking down data. When I became the head of consumer e-business and mobile technology at Citi in a more traditional corporate environment, it became clear to me that there is a big conflict between many of the approaches around mobile security and what the consumers will actually tolerate. If someone is given a BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY) device that is locked down or another smartphone that has a lot of software that is preventing them from using Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), preventing them from moving data between applications, they will outright reject it. If consumers are bringing their devices to work and they are trying to do work on their personal device, it is an illogical assumption that we could then takeover that device because it is personal.
The 'aha' moment for me was when I was given the option by Citi to use Good on my devices. This was completely unobtrusive. It was a separate application. Everything I needed for my job was in there. I could travel with my tablet and not have to bring my laptop. This was the easiest and simplest experience, and the bank had approved the security model. Here is something that as a consumer I find so much easier and liberating, as opposed to locking me out of the things I want to do.
FierceMobileIT: You mentioned security, which is top most in the minds of many CIOs and IT departments. Do you see them getting frustrated with BYOD and starting to clamp down?
Wyatt: There is a lot of confusion and noise in that space right now. I see our customers on a journey. The trend really started when the CEO fell in love with his iPad and said to the IT manager, 'Just make it work.' Then, it wasn't just CEOs. I remember sitting with the head security agent in a large federal agency who had his iPad in front of him. I asked, "Are you redirecting your corporate email to your iPad?" And he said, "Yes, you caught me." So users were going to find a way around restrictions. They were going to find a way to forward their email. IT said, "Okay, fine, I get it. You are not going to use the device that I gave you, so I'll find a way to manage the device you want." And that was the beginning of the story. Now you have maybe 15 different ways to solve that problem. There is a lot of frustration and a lot of confusion about what the different options are.
I don't necessarily see Good as a mobile security solution. I see Good as an enterprise mobility platform. The device management and the security are a big part of what we do, but if I gave you just the security component--and this is what a lot of organizations are finding out--you are going to remain frustrated ...The list of requirements for enterprise mobility is broader than just security. You have to get that right, but you also have to have the ability to promote many different kinds of applications. And those applications need to be able to share data with each other. The user needs to be productive within that space. With Good Dynamics as a platform, I can put Salesforce.com for Good on your device. You can open you email application, you can cut and paste data between Salesforce and your corporate email, and you can annotate documents within iAnnotate. All of these are going to be authenticated consistently. You log in once, and you access all of the applications. They can share data and they are all within the same secure platform.
FierceMobileIT: Could you describe the trend toward enterprise mobility management, bringing together mobile device and application management?
Wyatt: For other technology platforms that do not have a fundamental security platform for mobility, their next approach is what we call "app wrapping". Either through the traditional app store or through the enterprise app store, I will take all of the apps that you like ... and I will wrap them. That is a step in the right direction because now you can use more than just one application, but you still have the problem that because those applications are in their own individual wrapper, each is isolated from the other applications. So while they might be accessible to you, they might not be accessible to each other. That remains a usability issue. If you think about what you normally do day-to-day, there is a lot of data moving between the different apps and services. You have to be able to enable them.
FierceMobileIT: What role should MDM play in enterprise BYOD policies?
Wyatt: I would figure out what the users need to do. Then, you have a suite of services that you can use to enable that. Mobile device management can be one of those things. MDM is useful, for example, if you want to disable the camera when an employee walks into a high security environment. That is not going to be a requirement for everybody, but that is a good example of where a low-level device management platform could be useful. There are definitely areas where MDM can be useful for setting policy. You should look at what the users need to do, what applications they need to use, and what the guidelines are you are trying to build around that functionality. Can they share data? Is it application specific? Are there certain applications that need to talk to one another? The key is making sure the data is going to be secure.
FierceMobileIT: Do you think enterprises should require employees to sign an agreement that specifies what the enterprise can do with the personal device and what rights the employee has when they bring devices into the office?
Wyatt: I know that many organizations are doing that. I don't think that you need to do that. With our solution, you don't need to do that. We are just an app on their personal device. We are not focused on locking down the device. I can remotely take my application off of your device and all of the data associated with it; nothing else is touched. Our approach is not that you have to control the universe. We have a very secure space. We don't know what is going on outside of that space. Our focus is giving you a secure, productive work space within a consumer device.
FierceMobileIT: You have filed patent infringement lawsuits against a number of your competitors. What do you hope to accomplish with your patent lawsuits?
Wyatt: That's a tricky thing. I don't believe in what I call "recreational litigation." I don't see patent litigation as a primary revenue driver for us. We have enforced our patents over our history, and they have generated value for us. I really see it as being more defensive. We have our shareholders to think of, and we are a company that has been investing hundreds of millions of dollars in technology. The company has been very disciplined in making sure that its inventions are patent protected. We have to be responsible to those who have made those investments and protect them if they are being infringed upon. We have to protect the investments that we have made.
FierceMobileIT: How do you see the MDM market evolving in 10 years?
Wyatt: I see device management as a feature, not a product. So I think you are seeing a lot of commoditization with device management. It is something that you need to be able to do on an enterprise mobility platform. But it is not itself a platform. We have a certain amount of device management in our product and we also partner with other device management firms like BoxTone. It is clearly an important tool set for our customers. But our perspective is broader. I think you will see consolidation in the industry. It is really busy. There are a lot of folks that have jumped in. Some of them will find it is not interesting, others will merge. It will be busy for a period of time, but it will not remain that way. MDM itself is not a solution.
FierceMobileIT: What keeps you up at night?
Wyatt: Am I moving fast enough? My fear is, and I think this is true of any technology organization, am I going fast enough. Good is an incredibly agile company. It has a fantastic patent portfolio, fantastic product line, and an amazing customer base ... But this is a fast and busy market. Our customers are moving quickly to figure out how mobility changes their business. So, the challenge is on us as their leading partner to be able to scale with them and grow with them and remain their partner as they figure out their mobility plans going forward.