Don’t Pass On IoT, EMM Is Dead: Q&A With SOTI CEO Carl Rodrigues

Mobile transformation is constant, of course, as innovative technologies disrupt workflows on a daily basis. But since its infiltration into the business world more than a decade ago, this may be the most important time for enterprises to harness change yet.

In Enterprise Mobility Exchange’s ongoing monthly column, Sit Down With The CEO, we caught up with SOTI’s Carl Rodrigues about the state of the mobile enterprise, and how IoT is changing the landscape, the next phase for EMM and MDM, and which industries will need to adapt to mobile transformation quickest.

Enterprise Mobility Exchange: Is IoT being forced on the enterprise? Is this something that CIOs need to get their hands around sooner than later before they find their companies in an uphill battle?
Carl Rodrigues:
1.) IoT is already impacting most aspects of our lives, but its biggest impact will be in enterprise. While IoT is not being forced on enterprises, however, if not used, businesses are missing out on an array of functionality and possibilities.   

2.) Today’s apps and devices provide a variety of information that if leveraged effectively, could provide valuable insights actionable by both IT and the business. The mix of connected technology we are using every day at work is growing at an exponential pace and emerging IoT technology will add to the disruption in the market. Spend is increasing and the impact will be significant which makes it imperative that CIOs begin investing in IoT now. To take advantage of all that IoT promises, smart companies are doubling down on mobile technology and renewing their focus on IoT to reinvent their business and crush the competition.

EME: Now that IoT is more prominent than ever, how does the state of EMM need to adapt? Where does UEM come into play as mobile device management needs grow?
1.) Put simply, Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) is dead and focus has shifted towards a unified IoT solution. EMM will remain a fundamental element of that solution but the market is at a critical inflection point. Mobility is evolving from a “nice to have” focused primarily on office worker productivity to “business critical,” where mobility is transformational for companies across all business units and to the extended enterprise.
2.) As mobile device management (MDM) needs continue to grow, many organizations are beginning to look for support of other types of endpoints beyond traditional mobile devices. This marks a major shift from traditional EMM towards unified endpoint management (UEM). Businesses require a significantly broader range of device types to run their operations end-to-end, especially with the emergence of IoT. Mobile devices are commonly used today by workers in traditional offices, factory floors, retail establishments, in the field, in customers’ homes (as in the case of home healthcare), hotel rooms, transport trucks, etc. Yet the way UEM is currently defined, the focus is almost entirely on office worker device support.
3.) IoT devices aren’t solely comprised of smartphones/tablets and laptops/PCs, but also many other important devices that are critical for business operations such as PoS terminals, unmanned kiosks, digital displays, printers, scanners, mini-bar refrigerators, and smart watches. Investing in technology solutions that support all IoT endpoints is a critical next step and is business critical in the future of mobility.

EME: Which industries will need to adapt quickest to the ever-changing mobile transformation journey, and why?
There are four industries that are ripe for business critical mobility transformation:
1.) Manufacturing – According to the United States Department of Commerce, since March 2010 Manufacturers have added 945,000 jobs. With the influx of employees, few industries stand to benefit more from the IoT evolution than the manufacturing industry. From the ability to collect big data and metadata to make better decisions, or leveraging insights to create more efficient technologies to maximize cost saving, to the environmental impact that data and technologies can provide. IoT is reshaping the way manufacturers produce goods and drive revenue and efficiency.
2.) Healthcare – The healthcare industry is not often thought about as a ‘forward thinker’ especially when it comes to implementing new technology. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Statista in February 2016, U.S. healthcare payers and providers indicated that with an IT budget of over $200 million, only 14% of the total IT budget is allocated to internet of health things (IoHT). In addition, according to a global study by SAP/Oxford Economics, it was found that while healthcare organizations see the value of digitization (54% of the organizations are testing/piloting digital transformation programs) only 2% have completed digital transformation across their enterprises. By implementing IoHT, healthcare providers can cut costs while also delivering better healthcare solutions to the benefit of patients and care workers.
3.) Transportation and Logistics – IoT has already begun to disrupt this industry through the creation of systems that are able to sense and respond to vehicle usage and changes in real-time. To start, with the recent ELD mandate, the transportation industry is ripe for a technological evolution. In addition, IoT enables the ability to track where vehicles are in their route, ensuring they are delivering packages and goods on time and being able to reroute trucks based on to-the-minute circumstances like accidents, road closures or weather. Tracking fuel consumption can help to increasing fuel efficiency and determine if certain vehicles or drivers are expending more gas than others. Transportation companies have the opportunity to become the model for best practices in IoT. Sensors, mobile scanners and other Internet-connected devices are being used to manage a multitude of different variables including warehouse management, schedules and transportation routes, fuel efficiency, theft, you name it!
4.) Retail – According to Accenture, the IoT movement offers retailers opportunities in three critical areas: customer experience, the supply chain, and new channels and revenue streams.  For example, we will increasingly see sensors being used for inventory management, allowing a connection to be made from back-end inventory to in-store and online. Also, the in-store customer experience is transforming to meet the demands of the digital consumer – beacons will be used to push relevant messages at point-of-sale, sensors will be used to track patterns to develop better instore layouts.

EME: How important is it for enterprises to begin condensing EMM, MDM, MTD and other third-party solutions into one singular dashboard before the next phase of digital transformation sets in?
CR:  As the world becomes increasingly connected and enterprises ramp up their investments in IoT, companies need to aggressively look for unified solutions for all things IoT that will allow their businesses to meet their current tech challenges while also preparing them for the connected future. Approaching solutions like EMM, MDM and MTD in a piecemeal fashion will not work and the companies that that rely solely on EMM or one solution are missing out an array of functionality and possibilities. To take advantage of all that IoT promises, smart companies are doubling down on mobile technology and renewing their focus on IoT to reinvent their business and crush the competition.

EME: Thanks, Carl!

Click below for previous Sit Down With The CEO columns:
Phil Poje, TechOrchard
Tom Hogan, Kony
Simon Biddiscombe, MobileIron