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Good Technology CEO: 'We focus on the data, not the device'

John Gallant | Aug. 14, 2013
The latest installment of the IDG Enterprise CEO Interview Series.

Here's the full interview:

John Gallant: You joined in January after serving as Global Head of Citi's Consumer eBusiness and Mobile Technology Group. A couple of things about that transition. First, what appealed to you about this role? Why did you take this job?

I was very familiar with Good from a lot of different places. I knew them at Palm a long time ago. I'm dating myself. I knew them at Motorola, where they came into Motorola and then consequently left from Motorola. Actually, I first heard of the opportunity with Good in the summer when I was looking at a number of different opportunities, and chose to go to Citigroup. Citigroup is a customer of Good's, so from within Citigroup I was all of a sudden using the products in a way that I hadn't used them before. I had this kind of "aha" moment. It was sort of a transformational experience where my business at Motorola had been heavily focused on enterprise mobility, but looking at it from the inside perspective, from the CIO perspective, it was kind of, as I said, an ah-ha moment. All of a sudden I was doing 99% of my job on my iPad and my smartphone. I was no longer VPN'ing in. I wasn't doing heavy device management. I really had a different sort of appreciation. So when King [Ed. Note: King Lee, executive chairman and former CEO of Good] cornered me again and tried to resell me on the opportunity it was too good to pass up.

JG: What did you learn from Citi's experience with BYOD, and from your team's roll out of consumer-facing mobile services, that will shape your work at Good?

A couple of things. First of all, in my role within Citi, I was a consumer of a lot of these technologies in a large, traditional, enterprise environment -- the way that CIOs and the internal IT organization looked at investment decisions and return on investment, as well as the conversation which we were constantly consumed by around security, risk management, and data protection. I had a whole new appreciation for what that looked like from the inside of one of the world's largest banks. I owned a lot of technology that was consumer-facing, so right in the middle of a lot of the cyber attacks, a lot of the cyber security conversations, and it just became completely clear to me that these two things were completely at odds, that there was this massive pressure and concern around the value of data and the risk of that data getting into the wrong hands, and the opposite tension, which was the consumer experience. IT is giving me technologies that were really intrusive or overly confining and preventing me from getting my job done. That became a massive impediment to me being able to be successful. I had a unique role sitting right in between those two conversations within a very large organization, and that, I think, helped me frame the opportunity around Good. When I found out what Good was doing with Good Dynamics and their development framework and the development tool kit, it was powerful. What more could we do, as an enterprise mobility organization within the bank, if I could continuously manage that risk portfolio? And what other bolder things could we do, for our consumers, our employees or our business partners?


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