CSA had the privilege to meet up with Mitch Rowe, EVP of World Wide Sales at Ivanti when he was in Singapore recently. As cyber security becomes a major talking point in board rooms, Ivanti looks at unifying IT as a means to combat cyber threats and change how parts of IT are siloed and unaware of the others’ activities.
We spoke to Mitch to see how he thought the ASEAN region was coping with unifying IT and converging IT Ops and Security.
Mitch, who speaks fluent Mandarin, says that his experience living in Taiwan for 9 years has helped him to blend into the Asian environment.
“I think that exposure early on in my career, in a different environment, made me more culturally aware of different customs, traditions, and gave me a greater understanding about the local people and interacting, whether that’s partners or customers or colleagues. It gave me a broader awareness,” he shared.
Having that blend of Western and Asian experience gave Mitch a unique standpoint of seeing where the two cultures meet as well as their differences. He added that companies that originate from different regions, aren’t very different in their approach or in how they understand and adopt a unified IT Ops and Security.
“Most companies have struggled with the IT challenges that we are dealing with today. Whether it’s the mobile workforce or employee turnover, employee on-boarding, off-boarding, security challenges, threats around ransomware or malware. Companies in South East Asia are dealing with those same things and as we look at the market as a whole, we try to be sensitive to a lot of the complex challenges those businesses have, and certainly IT organisations are dealing with a lot of those challenges.”
He went on to explain that these organisations have evolved into creating their own siloed parts and they aren’t looking at integrating. This could prove to be counter-productive in growing a profitable and secure business on a global scale in today’s fast-paced environment.
“A lot of the folks that are managing the endpoint devices are not necessarily speaking with the security team or their services management team. One of the things we realised in the last several years is the need to break down those barriers and focus on what we call the unification of IT. And I think that’s a message that’s resonating here in South East Asia.”
The region is maturing and they are looking for better ways to interact with their customers. Because of this, Ivanti’s strategy of unified IT seems to hit a chord with many of the businesses that they are speaking to here.
“In IT or in any organisation, you try to define people’s roles as descriptive as possible, and be very granular and that is what has happened in IT. IT folks have been put in a box,” he explained, saying that being granular and descriptive has meant that organisations are preventing unification and the siloed-ness of these organisations has made securing these divisions very difficult.
“What that also means is that IT organisations can’t think strategically because they are constantly putting out fires. So what we try to do is to enable IT organisations with solid solutions around areas that we see, whether it’s with security or IT service management and provide them a platform and framework that they are not going to need as many IT resources focusing in on these individual areas.”
“As Ivanti solves those problems, this frees up time for those IT organisations to think more strategically and not worry about the day to day firefighting. That’s how we at Ivanti are driving value with our customers.”
Mitch summarised that Ivanti are building an enviable set of experts in the region. In addition, the company also collaborates with other experts that complement Ivanti's core strengths.