10 things I learned at BriForum 2012 Chicago

Last week was our 12th BriForum conference. As usual it was a blast and I came away with a ton of ideas and inspiration.

Last week was our 12th BriForum conference. As usual it was a blast and I came away with a ton of ideas and inspiration. Here are 10 thoughts that stood out for me at BriForum:

1. The merging of ConsumerizeIT.com and BrianMadden.com Usually Brian, Gabe, and I don’t have any announcements at BriForum—we leave that up to the vendors that are showing off new products. This time, however,  we did have an announcement: we’ll soon be merging ConsumerizeIT.com back into BrianMadden.com. Don’t worry, all of the ConsumerizeIT.com content will still be available, and we’re not making any changes to our coverage. So why recombine the two sites? Over the last few months, we have come to realize that dealing with desktops, virtualization, and Windows applications falls under the same umbrella as dealing with CoIT, BYOD, and FUIT—these are all parts of what we simply can call “end user computing.” (Read more about the merging of consumerization and desktop virtualization in this article from Brian.)

2. I spent lots of hands-on time with MDM leading up to my session My session was “The technology behind the debate: getting under the covers of mobile device management.” (Content from the session will come out in several articles over the next few weeks.) To prepare, I spent several weeks with AirWatch and MaaS360 trials, trying to use, abuse, and do everything I could to my own personal devices. (It did make remembering my passwords difficult, and more than once I ran into roadblocks put up by very own management policies.)

3. Not many companies are rolling their own mobile apps yet In a very informal poll during my session, I asked how many people worked at companies that were rolling their own in-house apps. The results? About 3 people out of 80. That doesn’t mean that there learned at’s not a lot of interest in MAM, though—it just means that we’re a little out in front right now, and we can expect interesting times ahead watching the industry as adoption increases.

4. There’s a lot of interest in learning more about MDM, MAM, and MIM And we try to do as much as we can to provide answers, debate, and food for thought! Seriously—what MDM can and can’t do; MDM versus MAM; the role of MDM in the future; iOS configuration profiles compared to iOS provisioning profiles; app strategies; sandboxed versus open email—these were all topics of discussion at BriForum.

5. Pain tolerance for sandboxed email varies from user to user and company to company In my session I spoke of built-in mobile email clients as a way to keep corporate mail, contacts, and attachments on mobile devices insulated from other apps, without having to manage the entire device. Reactions and experiences varied widely. Can it work for you or your company? That question comes up a lot, especially around BYOD, and the answers always vary.

6. We still don’t know what to do about email Brian and I had a long discussion about sandboxed email, managed devices, open email, and data loss prevention while traveling back from BriForum. While a lot of interesting ideas came up, we were not able to come to a conclusion about a definitive way to handle mobile email, BYOD and end FUIT.

7. FUIT is real We had two sessions covering FUIT, the concept that end users now have the ability to do whatever they want without being stopped (or even detected) by IT. Several times during “Ten things my users did to say FUIT,” there were audible gasps from attendees as David Stafford told stories about supporting a company full of super users.

8. Brian Katz’s definition of MIM Right now, we know the concept of MIM (mobile information management) as essentially a “corporate version of Dropbox” app that allows users to safely access company documents on their mobile devices. Brian Katz’ definition of MIM, however, incorporates documents that are aware of their own security posture along with apps that can treat that information accordingly, instead of the current ‘walled garden’ approach to separating corporate and personal apps and data. You can hear more about it on the most recent episode of Consumerization Nation, recorded live at the conference.

9. Sessions I attended I had the pleasure of attending sessions by David Stafford, Harry Labana, Cláudio Rodrigues, Shawn Bass, Kevin Goodman, Brian Katz, and Dan Shappir (I actually went to his session in London, not Chicago). There are many more that I look forward to watching once the videos are posted.

10. We have a great community Most important, I went away from BriForum inspired by all of my old and new friends in the community. Thank you to everybody!


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