Yes, I wrote this during the Super Bowl and as I watched my 49rs (if you do not know I am an old timer 49rs fan but considering they simply went under after the Joe Montana’s Era, I had to keep it quiet) trying to overcome the Ravens, I was reading a twitter conversation going on with Jarian, Dan Brinkmann and Joe.

It was about MDM, MAM, BYOD, etc. Corporate IT locking down/controlling a device the user paid for and all the good stuff that comes with it.

Before I get into that, let’s take a look at what IT became and why I think somewhere along the journey IT deviated and got lost from its main purpose: to identify the tools that can help the business deliver its mission better and deploy them. Basically create the technical foundations for the business to be agile and efficient. Elegant if you will.

Not sure when it happened but certainly during the golden era of the client-server movement, where mainframes or anything that was centralized became a target for this 20th century inquisition. Mainframes were burnt alive and freedom was restored to the people on the other end, as known as users. They started getting these new things called PCs, networked, with processing power and could do stuff. Then when all seemed paradise, hell broke loose. As legend says, users became evil and used a weapon, called PC, to create havoc among IT.

That is what the old IT folks will tell you. And yes I am old. And with an IT background.

Problem is, the story is NOT exactly as told.

As history showed us, simply put, IT became some sort of company Police where users had to be given locked down environments and devices while the IT Gods roamed the earth with no group policies and wide open devices. Have you ever worked on an environment where servers were named Zeus, Olympus, Mars and so on? There is a reason for that.

Funny thing is these users, being locked down and in many cases prevented from working properly or efficiently (how many IT people know 100% sure what users do with their apps?) are the same users that are probably part of sales, some selling millions a year for the company, turning massive profit what at the end pays for IT. The ones bringing the bacon home. Oh irony.

But it gets funnier. As anyone can tell you, IT can indeed live, breath and survive with desktops as locked down as the ones they give to their users. The reason is simple: if you need a wide open machine for whatever, create a VM, throw it somewhere and access if from your locked down desktop. Living proof anyone can survive with a desktop that only has an RDP client for example. Not efficient, agreed. BUT it is possible to work like that. That is the way IT thinks by the way. Or most IT.

The question then becomes, if IT can also live with a locked down desktop, why is IT not doing that? Well because they hate locked down things. That is for users.

If we expand that line of thought and get into the BYOW (Bring Your Own Whatever) it gets even funnier. The same IT police that despises the iPhones of the world, coming from a BlackBerry Empire, are the ones that lined up back in 2007 to buy the first iPhone. And lined up again to buy the iPhone 4. Or the iPad for that matter. The fuckers that made me wait in line for over three hours to get a damn iPhone 4.

They know as a matter of fact the devices, especially today, can be locked down in certain ways. Controlled. Managed. And that bullshit “we do not know the devices” is completely this, bullshit. If you lined up to buy it, chances are you know all these. Plus as IT it is expected you KNOW about the damn fucking IT market and its technologies.

“Claudio you are full of shit and you know it”, some IT people will say. “We have no time as  we are always fighting fires all over the company”.


IT does not want to deal with all these devices. All these technologies. That means more work. Or a lot of work. Regardless, it means work. IT is not supposed to work. It is supposed to fuck users up the arse. And now we have a problem. And things halt to a stop.

The reality is, IT got lazy. Lame. Delivering half ass solutions. Once half ass goes live, shit happens. Shit happens you have to deal with shit. Dealing with shit means I have no time to think about what is important for the business.


What needs to happen is a cultural shift, where IT sees users as partners, potentially as revenue making machines that will bring the whole company to new levels. New markets. New businesses. More bacon on the table at the end of the day.

Of course as the liaison between users and the company information, somewhere a line has to be drawn. After all, companies must follow regulations. Policies. Laws. But these lines have to align with the business needs in a way not to hamper it or discourage users. IT has to be loved, not hated.

Until IT shifts towards this, no matter what you do, MAM, MDM, MIM, FU, FUandMe, users will always find a way around. And with that, all the MAM, MDM, MIM, FU, FUandMe will be history, lost somewhere along the way.

For better IT.


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One thought on “MDM, MAM, IT and BYOW

  • Shaun Ritchie

    I think I.T is there to serve the company they work for and as an enabler for the company to do their work, and do it more efficiently, and nowadays from more places than they could before.

    But at the same time I.T is there to implement the tech that should protect the company from loss of IP, lawsuits, litigation, and public humiliation

    User should not be locked down for no reason and I don’t think I.T should necessarily be making the data protection policy.

    The business should be saying, we need our users to be able to work from A, B, and C (but with limited access), using PC, tablet, phone etc but they should not be able to work from D and if tablet or phone goes missing then we should not lose and confidential information.

    I.T then go and make this happen using the best of breed technologies.

    If the business have no policies as above and just let I.T deal with it then I.T will either lock everyone down too much or not enough with no middle ground between security and user experience.