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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.

I think, again, my becoming a user of the Good products made me realize that I had that completely wrong. Device management absolutely has a role. It has a role when your biggest concern is what happens to the hardware. But when your biggest concern is what happens to the data, you need an entirely different set of tools.

I believe a CIO is going to need a variety of different tools to be able to deploy a number of different mobility strategies across the organization. Let's say I'm a bank and I want to put a tablet in the retail branches so that a new customer coming in just wants to pick up a tablet and open an account. That's a great usage for device management because I really care about the hardware. I don't want the hardware to leave the building. If the hardware leaves the building I want to turn it off, shut it down. It's going to be almost purely a corporate device. So it's a very fixed functionality kind of purpose. The second I start to believe that there's any mixture of personal and corporate data being intermixed on that device, you need an entirely different set of tools. I like to use the analogy of a hotel. Device management is kind of the doorman. He lets the people who have authority to have access, access, and people who don't have a reason to be there, he asks them to leave. But it doesn't actually help you secure your watch from the housekeeper. It's not going to help you at all.

When you really care about the assets that are inside the phone -- and what I really care about is that you don't breach the data that's either in my productivity applications or in my corporate developed applications or in any of my applications -- that's an entirely different set of tools. They need to be able to secure the app, secure that data within the app, be able to create workflow with multiple apps that share data across in a secure and transparent way. Most people don't realize that a lot of the data leakage comes from the space where data moves between applications, not from when the data goes in and out of the device. So that's, I think, a very different approach. There's a whole suite of products and solutions that sort of stream out of that if you fundamentally believe your focus is the data. So we do offer device management, but I would say it's, in our world, a feature. It's not a platform. The platform is really the end-to-end security architecture that will let you secure productivity apps, secure development of your own apps, create secure workflows, do distribution and management of data and applications as well as devices.


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