Ivanti: Unified IT for Simplified IT

Ivanti: Unified IT for Simplified IT

Who Is Ivanti & What is Unified IT

Hi, I'm Mike Matchett with Small World, Big Data and today we're gonna talk a little but about the future of IT, or what the future of IT should be. Right now, IT is a little bit down in the weeds shall we say, a little bit behind the times a little bit traditional, stuck with legacy things stuck with doing low level tasks. But there is a brighter future, there is hope. Today I've got Kevin Smith who's the senior VP of strategic initiatives from Ivanti with us. Ivanti has got a great portfolio of products if you haven't taken a look. Today Kevin's gonna help us walk through this theory of unified IT. Welcome Kevin. - Thanks Mike, great to be here. Yeah we love talking about unified IT. We think that is very much our future and IT is at the cross-roads of business today more and more because so much of business is about technology, it's about data, it's about information. And of course, who has their hands on all that stuff but it's IT, or IT professionals. So mobile lifestyle, the social media, managing endpoints, smart phones, the global market landscape, e-commerce, new security threats.


Access Full Video Interview w. Ivanti Here: Ivanti & Unified IT

Complexity Marches On

I mean Mike, heck, two years ago we didn't even talk about ransomware and malware, and now that's such an important part of what we do. The world of IT has gotten a lot more complicated. And so IT has to rise to those challenges and we think the only way it can do that is to come together. To create this singularity of purpose and singularity of strategy, and to work together as a common entity to meet these challenges. So that's the unification of IT. Moving past our silos, moving past a single functional focus to all of IT working together to better serve the business and to better meet the challenges these challenges that are coming our way in the global marketplace. - Alright so let's try to dig down a little bit and talk about unification a little bit more practically. Today if I'm in IT, I've got product X that does a little bit over here, I've got product Y that does a little bit over there I have product Z. I probably have a hundred products on the shelf just to manage IT, much less the applications themselves. I have to have subject matter expertise in every one of those things. You guys make management products, and management solutions. What has to happen here for IT to start to unify? What's really the theory here? It's bringing those things together in some way. - Bring those things today, and so it's not it's kind of a fascinating thing in that we're bringing together people and bringing together an organization but also bringing tools together and applications together. It is not uncommon today for IT to have 60, 70, 100 different applications to manage IT and to do IT operations.

Simplification by Unification

And what we're saying is there's a better way. There's a better way to do that. We provide this portfolio that simplifies that whole application landscape and then allows IT to just focus on what they have to deliver. To focus on operating system upgrades and to focus on onboarding employees onboarding partners, better serving customers. We're all losing sleep thinking about how we better serve our customers. How we move faster. You can't do that when people are fragmented and the organization is fragmented and you're managing 100 applications. It's just too complicated, it's too slow. It's not agile, it's anything but agile. - We talked about, and I think that you sort of ended when we were talking on an important point about speed and speed is what wins and differentiates in the marketplace and IT has to be faster, and faster gets you more agile. But I want to back up a little bit and talk about, well how do I even get to the point where IT can move faster. I want to bring these things together and I think the key word, automation, came up. Could you explain a little bit about what automation does and what IT's perspective has to be about automation. - There's so much that we do in IT every day that is very repetitive. It's very well understood. These are tactical tasks. They're the common work product of IT. But it continues to be very manual. And so it slows us down, it sucks up the time of our people and ten years ago we couldn't automate a lot of that stuff because the technology and the tools just weren't up to it. But the tools, automation tools have gotten so much better, so much more sophisticated, so much more flexible, now we can automate a lot of those tasks that happen in IT every day. And then this amazing thing happens. It frees up our people so they can focus more on working smarter. They can focus more on the strategic work tracks. They can focus more on innovating. It was hard for IT to innovate before because we didn't have the time to think about it. We were just trying to get through today. We were just trying to survive today and again because we were living this manual, tactical lifestyle.

The Power of Automation

But now, by automating, we can get our work done faster and we can free up some of the time of our people. Even an hour a day, even 30 minutes a day to start thinking about innovation. To start thinking about being more proactive. IT has always been reactive because we were living hand to mouth and again just trying to get through the crises of today. But now for the first time, by automating maybe in the beginning it's only 20% of the work that we do which is very achievable. That frees up some of our time. And then later we can get to 40% and then we can get to 60%. And every step we take creates bandwidth with our people to think about hey how do we make our customers happy? How do we innovate? How do we get ahead of the business so the business isn't coming to us when we're already behind. - Alright so you guys have this unification idea in place and the strategy to come out and you're gonna fulfill. It's kind of becoming a vision I guess and a mission for what you're doing. And you were telling me that there's really three broad steps. And this is a good strategic vision, I thought. And the first step starts with, before you automate you gotta simplify. Just tell me a little bit, let's walk through these three steps. When you're simplifying, what are you really focusing on and trying to do? - So when you're simplifying you're trying to get rid of the waste traditional deliverables or reports or anything that made sense at one time but it really doesn't make sense today. Anything that slows us down. Legacy systems, special requirements that are no longer necessary. So we're simplifying and we're getting rid of the waste and they sort of compliment one another. That is going to lift some of the burden off of IT. It's going to get some of the unnecessary work out of the way. And it's gonna prepare us in doing this cleansing thing and doing this review or this audit if you will in everything we do, it's gonna prepare us to automate and to move faster. Trying to rush to automation without doing the simplification without eliminating all this waste doesn't really make sense. - You don't want to automate and do the wrong things 100 times faster or automatically, right? You want to make sure you do the right things. -

Strategy Before Tactics

Yeah CIO told me last we, you don't want to automate all the crap. So yeah, you don't want to automate that so let's get things scrubbed and then we're in a better position to automate. And by the way you get a lot of other benefits too. - Right, and you mentioned a statistic of reports that people generate that no one even reads anymore. And just tons of stuff. And I can probably walk into any IT shop that's not done a thorough vetting of their stuff in years and start finding things to simplify that they just don't even think about they just do it cuz it's rote. Alright so step two, of your three step process in unifying IT is about the automation, I assume and the goals of automation and really taking away the manual processes that can be automated. What was interesting as we were talking I thought was the most interesting thing wasn't really about the automation. The most interesting part about doing this was the IT strategy that has to be adopted first. - Yes yes - So tell me that, tell me about that. - Well automation without a strategy is not really gonna be strategic for us. But a strategy that is complemented and supported by automation well that's really something very powerful. So if we have a strategy, for example we're gonna deliver everything we do today 90% faster and that's an example that we use because it helps to have a goal it helps to quantify that. Well then we're working towards something. And if we say we're gonna automate 90% of the work that gets done in IT today. And we're gonna do that over the next five to 10 years then our people know what the mission is. Our people have a benchmark. And so we start looking at okay we can automate most of what we're doing so let's figure out how to do that. And then with that time savings this isn't about a smaller staff it's about taking our people and applying them to innovation applying them to working with the business owners. - And that's your step three, right?

Returning IT to Innovation

You free up IT and get them refocused on innovation. - Yes, yes and then IT becomes an engine for innovation for the whole business. IT becomes a partner with the business in figuring out how we innovate how we do things fundamentally differently to drive revenue. I mean ultimately that's where we need IT to be is driving revenue, creating competitive advantage and helping the business to win new customers. That's what we're all here for. - So I like the unification of IT thrust. And you're adopting it company-wide. If you can take some of the brands and products that people know and love like Landesk and Heat and Concord and Shavlik and some of those other things and put this all together under a vision of helping unify IT I think everyone is gonna win here. I think it's gonna be a big play. - Absolutely. Yeah we're very excited about it. We think it's gonna make a big difference in business every day for the next decade. - Well great. Well thank you for being here today Kevin. Appreciate it. - Thanks Mike. We'll talk again. - I think we've got a lot to talk about cuz now I'm gonna get down to the actual examples of this as you go forward in technology. So there's a lot to get here. And thank you for watching today I'm sure we'll be back with Ivanti to explore more of this unification of IT vision and maybe you guys should start thinking about it as well. Take care. - Yeah, alright thanks Mike.