As you’ve most likely have read in our announcement today, AppSense has announced its intent to acquire RAPsphere a mobile IT company developing mobile information management solutions that enable CIOs to contend with Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in the enterprise and beyond. However you may be wondering why and how this fits with AppSense.
The future of the desktop
One year ago I announced that I was following through on my belief that to enable the “consumerization of IT,” a people-centric service focus was essential for the successful adoption of diverse client computing architectures for enterprise customers. In essence, this represents what I consider to be a requirement of the future desktop where people can choose how they want to work. People will choose traditional and new ways to be productive. In this world of choice, we have already started to see the emergence of new IT approaches such as desktop virtualization. As I’ve written previously, different types of workers need to be connected with different types of apps and IT services. This increasing diversity is driving the need for user virtualization as a strategic requirement in client architectures since it drives simplification and lowers the TCO across heterogeneous environments as IT transforms to a service orientated organization.
Enterprise Computing vs. Consumerization
There is no doubt that the consumerization of IT is causing a disruption in traditional IT organizations. Much of IT is still in the mind set of command and control and all around them executives and employees are taking the path of least resistance with better technology in the consumer world. However can this be the future? Can desire alone by enterprise executives and workers trump the very real needs of responsible enterprises that have reputations to preserve, customers to protect, fiduciary responsibility to uphold and in many cases regulatory requirements to meet? Can consumerization address these enterprise needs? Is it good enough to simply assume consumer technologies will address these needs as demands grow? Can enterprises afford to wait that long when users are demanding choice?
I don’t believe that enterprises can wait as we continue to see an explosion in Tablets and Smartphones. New services like DropBox showcase what people expect to be able to use for work. Already users are embracing these new applications. There must be a better IT approach that enables the enterprise to govern what matters and provide people with choice. At AppSense we call this approach enterprise Consumerization. AppSense takes a people-centric approach to computing that is enabled by user virtualization.
The democratization of IT
The consumerization of IT is no longer simply the topic du jour of keynote speakers at [pick your favorite] IT conference, it’s a tidal wave that is fundamentally — and finally — shifting the balance of IT power from the centrally managed, old school IT politburo and putting the power literally in the hands of users — where it should be. Consumerization of IT is a misnomer; what’s actually occurring is the democratization of IT. Unquestionably, a major force driving this change is BYOD. Last year alone, it’s conservatively estimated that 54% of employees used their personal devices for work — whether known to their employers or not. In a few years, the number of personal devices will dwarf the number of PCs — tablet sales alone will pass PC sales in as early as two years. By 2016, for every PC an employee uses, 80% of users will use TWO personal devices to access corporate applications and data. It’s clear that BYOD is actively causing and accelerating a tectonic shift in IT, and enterprises have no choice but to get ahead of the storm lest they get consumed by it. These devices will open the door for people to many cloud services with new app types as the gateway to the cloud.
Introducing RAPsphere, BYOApp & MIM
RAPsphere is on the cutting-edge of Mobile BYOD solutions. Unlike remote display solutions, clumsy mobile hypervisor approaches or the dizzying array of mobile device management (MDM) solutions that have flooded the market in recent years claiming to be the silver bullet for BYOD, RAPsphere understood from day zero that it’s simply NOT about the device: it’s all about users, apps and data. In fact, with the explosion of mobile apps and app marketplaces, BYOD is as much or more about BYOA — “bring your own app” — than it is about devices. Executives and employees alike are demanding access to applications and data enabling them to drive revenue and do their jobs irrespective of time and location, and they will not take no for an answer. The result is a perfect storm of security and compliance nightmares that IT must bring under control. This is exactly where RAPsphere comes in. RAPsphere enables enterprises to manage and secure native corporate apps (in-house developed and third party apps), data and connectivity on employee owned mobile devices — all in real-time. RAPsphere provides fine-grain policy and security controls of enterprise apps/data while preserving users’ native device experience — all without requiring any customizations to apps or the underlying OS. Unlike existing solutions, RAPsphere’s technology does NOT require IT to take complete control of users’ devices and invade users’ personal space (e.g., Airwatch, MobileIron, Zenprise) or severely restrict app choice to highly customized apps (e.g., Good Technologies). With RAPsphere, enterprise apps live side-by-side with personal apps without the fear of compromise or contamination. RAPsphere is truly the first solution enabling security and compliance for all corporate applications, on any mobile device without impacting the user experience or infringing on user privacy…Any app, any device, anywhere and always secure – it’s what users demand, and will enable AppSense to further extend our vision into mobile IT with Mobile Information Management (MIM).
RAPsphere’s value proposition and promise is both simple and powerful. RAPsphere enables enterprises to deploy and manage any application, on any device while ensuring it’s always secure:
- ANY APP. Apps developed in-house. Apps developed by 3rd parties. The apps that users want, the apps that users demand. Unmodified, intact.
- ANY DEVICE. Apps and data delivered on any edge device, regardless of operating system. And without modifying the operating system in any way. True end-user devices of choice. Anything short is not BYOD — it’s more of the same.
- ALWAYS SECURE. Without modifying apps, without modifying OS’s, without modifying devices, RAPsphere delivers applications securely, ensure their content and data is isolated, controlled and encrypted.
It’s not about the device — It’s about apps, data & people
Today, enterprises have no solution to this problem, they only have crutches. A comprehensive solution must give enterprises the power to:
- ISOLATE & SECURE ENTERPRISE APPS & DATA. Enterprise applications/data — in-house and 3rd party — must be segregated from personal applications/data on mobile devices. Secure data containment and encryption for all enterprise data at rest and controls for all intra/inter data interactions are a must.
- MANAGE & CONTROL USER, APP & DATA COMPLIANCE. Users may own edge devices, but IT must control enterprise applications and data. That means end-to-end enterprise user, application and data lifecycle management, from provisioning to end-of-life. That means centrally defining, setting and pushing application, data, compliance — and even location — policies without ever physically touching end users’ devices. And it also means being able to be alerted when policy infractions have occurred and the power to take immediate corrective action.
- GIVE USERS THE APPLICATIONS THEY WANT AND NEED — NOW. Not the applications that IT thinks users want or need. And not in six or nine months — they need to be delivered on-demand. That means delivering not just applications IT has the time to create, but applications that users and market forces have declared are the best-of-breed. These applications need to be delivered unmodified and intact. And they must be delivered across all devices and platforms, not just ones that IT capriciously approves.
What a difference a year makes
I can’t wait until we formally bring this offering to market as I reflect upon what an amazing first year it has been at AppSense. We’ve taken a close look at the most pressing needs of our customer base and begun to re-imagine what Enterprise Consumerization can enable. This year we have seen much success on a number of fronts at AppSense. DataNow Vault was our first release for AppSense Labs, which is a free personal encryption utility that got the interest of TechCrunch.We continued to think hard about IT needs managing data and recently announced the availability of beta for our enterprise data offering, DataNow, which will go beyond file synch solutions that offer a limited choice of storage options restricting enterprise customers. We have set the foundation that rules can be changed with StrataApps when empowering enterprise users in their Windows environment. We also had a major refresh of our user virtualization platform and the big opportunity that lies ahead of us is beginning to be picked up in the media. The pace of innovation at AppSense will remain fast and furious. I’m looking forward to a very exciting second year as we accelerate our market leadership focused on enabling Enterprise Consumerization.