I get to join several product demonstrations each month and speak with various technology companies about the current and next-generation problems they are working to solve. Sometimes you hear about products when it’s too late, when you don’t work with a client anymore who might have benefited from a solution or a solution they tried killed implementation completely.
When speaking with Blue Cedar CEO John Aisien last week, I found a product that could have helped me solve for a problem a client was challenged with in 2016. John and his co-founder Kevin Fox have assembled a team that is simplifying the role out of BYOD for enterprises and delivering seamless security solutions for heavily regulated B2C organizations focusing on mobile applications for their users. They have competition in the space, but I noticed a differentiation between them and the more commonly known providers in EMM.
How? By placing the Blue Cedar Security Injection product directly into an organizations application development tool-kit. The solution lights up a security control center to monitor, track, and control the applications behavior on any given device without any use of the traditional MDM products. They are moving the line on untrusted user access, creating a tool that enables the enterprise to securely mobilize their entire workforce, and with the varying controls that enterprises are accustomed to in the MDM services we utilize today. The key difference, however, is that there is no MDM agent required to sit on any BYOD device – a huge move to full enabling BYOD.
I see Blue Cedar taking serious strides to simplify the mobile application security management questions that enterprises are boiling water over today. Their recent announcement of a partnership with Neptune Software and their Rapid Mobile APP Development Platform, as well as their ongoing work with SAP is evidence of this. And they are developing a tool set that becomes more critical as we expand our hardware connectivity and computing capabilities from a centralized secure location to the edge.
Blue Cedar completely solves a very real enterprise security problem.
The client this made me think of is a pharmaceutical company that took the strategic initiative to bring mobile technology to their clinical trials. What an opportunity – and challenge – to securely generate valuable user data.
Think about it; this company runs more than 200 clinical trials annually and for varying lengths of time. The number of participants per trial varies from 50 to tens of thousands, and the user make up is diverse and unique to each clinical trial they run. None are employees and they’re not consumers whose data can be shared, viewed, or left unattended.
It’s not that the users could not be trusted with their own data. The question really surrounded how to securely deploy an application that would collect highly sensitive and proprietary data from a decentralized and uncontrolled user group?
The solution at the time was to loan these users a corporate-owned tablet, pre-configured with a Mobile Device Management (MDM) application, coupled with Apple’s Device Configurator (I know, I cringed too), a custom-built in-house application specifically for use in this trial, and a robust logistical support strategy for replacements, software and application updates. We started with a user group of 250 participants in one country and had some other challenges to consider.
We knew right away that this would be expensive and technically challenging to scale from one trial to more than 200. Each clinical trial requires its own application(s) and connectivity capabilities with other 3rd party applications, and maybe even wearables or connected medical devices and other controlled systems. Not every user needs a device, but not every user doesn’t need a device.
If I were to guess, 80 percent or more of the total users globally could be BYOD users if a tool like the Blue Cedar product were deployed in their application development strategy. It solves the security conundrum that MDM was meant to address while delivering a high volume of logistical and user support savings. Otherwise, a client would spend hundreds of millions of dollars on one-time-use hardware and the tracking of 3rd party software licenses.
The remaining 20 percent of users who receive a device for the term of their trials would leverage the same application, but with a far less complex device configuration setup and logistical support network. This would further save the company millions in support and deployment costs.
Who else is solving for complex mobile problems and weighed down by the cost and security of the hardware, and the security of the network? Everyone.